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An AT&T Outage Is Wreaking Havoc on US Cellular Networks

It started around 3:30 in the morning on the East Coast, reports flooding in about an AT&T service outage. Customers complained across Reddit and X and logged their issues on DownDetector, a site that, well, detects when services go down.

The impact appears to be widespread; AT&T users from New York to Atlanta to Dallas claimed no signal, phones stuck in SOS mode. Multiple police departments, including in San Francisco, reported that some users were unable to contact 911 as a result of the outages. By 9 am ET, DownDetector was showing more than 72,000 A&T outages across the US; the site’s baseline for AT&T service issues is 42.

“Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning,” AT&T spokesperson Jim Greer said in a statement. “We are working urgently to restore service to them. We encourage the use of Wi-Fi calling until service is restored.”

It’s not just AT&T’s customers, though. Every cell carrier on DownDetector showed spikes Thursday morning, including behemoths Verizon and T-Mobile. But both companies confirmed that there’s nothing wrong with their networks; the complaints are instead collateral damage, people trying to reach their AT&T contacts and not getting through.

“We did not experience an outage,” a T-Mobile spokesperson tells WIRED over email. “Our network is operating normally. Down Detector is likely reflecting challenges our customers were having attempting to connect to users on other networks.”

Similarly, a Verizon spokesperson says over email that “Verizon’s network is operating normally. Some customers experienced issues this morning when calling or texting with customers served by another carrier.”

The news isn’t all bad. AT&T confirmed that FirstNet, the first responder network that AT&T built out, is operating normally. And while it’s an imperfect substitute—or totally unusable, depending on where you are—Wi-Fi calling should suffice as a workaround for now. (To turn on Wi-Fi calling, go to your smartphone’s Settings, then Network & internet, then switch the Wi-Fi Calling toggle to on. Exact wording might vary depending on your phone model and operating system.)

Cell network outages happen with some frequency; anything from extreme weather to background technical issues to cut wires can cause them. T-Mobile had a massive service interruption of this scale a year ago that it ultimately attributed to a “3rd party fiber interruption issue.” That issue appeared more self-contained, though, than ripple effects seemingly caused AT&T’s problems.

As for when the AT&T outage might be resolved, it’s hard to say without knowing the underlying issue. As of 9:30 am ET, though, it showed no signs of improving.

This is a developing story. We will continue to update as new information becomes available.


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