AT&T customers hit by widespread outage with cellular and internet service down in the US

22 February 2024, 18:31 | Updated: 22 February 2024, 23:23

AT&T customers were unable to send texts, access the internet or make calls, even to emergency services via 911.
AT&T customers were unable to send texts, access the internet or make calls, even to emergency services via 911. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Customers of the US’s biggest phone network have been left unable to make phone calls, including to emergency services.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The problems began early on Thursday. AT&T said it was aware of the issue and working urgently to fix it – but did not give any indication of why it had happened or when it might be resolved.

The company said that ‘three quarters’ of services had been restored, after an outage lasting many hours.

AT&T’s most recent statement says: “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that is happening and some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning.

“We are working urgently to restore service to them. We encourage the use of Wi-Fi calling until service is restored.”

AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile and other service providers were all affected, according to data from Downdetector.

Although, T-Mobile and Verizon claimed their networks were not affected by the outage, suggesting that those experiencing issues may just be struggling to reach those on AT&T.

The phone network had more than 73,000 outages this morning, in locations including Houston, Atlanta and Chicago.

Cricket Wireless had more than 13,000, the outage tracking website said on Thursday. Verizon had more than 4,000 outages and T-Mobile had more than 1,800 outages. Boost Mobile had about 700 outages.

Downdetector shows that there has since been a drop in the number of self-reported outages across the country.

The number has now fallen to about 7,000 people, although this is not necessarily a full view of the service outage, as the data relies on people self-reporting service disruptions.

Customers have been left furious over the service issues, with many criticising AT&T for being too slow to update customers.

One user of their services wrote: "AT&T cellular service down. Downdetector reporting numerous cell services with issues. Is this a massive cyber attack on the cellular infrastructure? Was there a solar flare or satellite malfunction?

"The issue appears to be nationwide, if not international."

Other AT&T customers have reported their iPhones being stuck in 'SOS' mode as a result of the outage.

One wrote: "Explains why my phone was on sos."

While multiple users have called for a renumeration, as one said: "Make sure our bills reflects the interruption."

The company has not yet provided a timeframe of when customers can expect service to be fully restored.

There is no indication that the outage was the result of a cyberattack or malicious activity, an industry source told CNN.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security agency said it is “working closely with AT&T to understand the cause of the outage and its impacts, and stand[s] ready to offer any assistance needed”.

A number of local governments reported disruptions to services as a result of the outages.

San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management said that while its 911 centre remained operational - AT&T customers had reported being unable to reach the line due to the service outage.

While The Fire Department in Upper Arlington, Ohio said the service was affecting its fire alarms.

Experts have said that the Federal Communications Commission is likely to investigate the outage.

“The carriers are required to report their outage numbers over time, and the commission can track the number of consumers and cell sites down and things like that,” a former FCC official said.

“The FCC is going to want to know what caused it so that lessons can be learned. And if they find malfeasance or bad actions or, just poor quality of oversight of the network, they have the latitude to act.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Planning documents show the owners of the pub want to rebuild it in a new location.

Owners of Crooked House agree to rebuild ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ - providing it's in a new location

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

Joe Biden has reaffirmed the US's commitment to defending Israel's security.

Biden reaffirms ‘ironclad commitment’ to Israel as he plans G7 meeting to coordinate ‘diplomatic response to Iran attack’

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

‘Together we will win’: Netanyahu vows to fight off attacks from Iran after over 300 drones and missiles fired at Israel

Israeli's military have fought off a massive Iranian drone and missile attack - downing more than 200 weapons launched by the hostile state with the help of ace RAF pilots.

Israel fights off massive Iran attack - downing over 200 missiles and drones with help of RAF

Plans have been drawn up for an evacuation of Brits from the Middle East. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps (l) and protesters outside the British Embassy in Tehran (r)

Brits living in the Middle East could be rescued by the Royal Marines in 'Dunkirk-style' evacuation

The knifeman who killed six people in a rampage at a Sydney shopping centre has been named as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi (left)

Pictured: Sydney knifeman, 40, who killed six people before being shot dead by brave policewoman

Iranian drones and missiles have arrived in Israel with explosions in the skies - as officials warn of a "significant response" to the massive attack.

Explosions in skies and sirens across Jerusalem amid Iranian attack - as Israel warns of 'significant response'

USS Bataan which is heading to the Eastern Mediterranean (main) and Joe Biden (r)

US sends amphibious warship and 2,500 Marines into the Eastern Mediterranean after Iran attacks Israel

US and UK forces are helping defend Israel from Iranian drones and missiles after a massive attack was launched.

British and American jets 'shoot down Iranian drones' as Rishi Sunak slams Iran for 'reckless' attack against Israel

President Biden is holding an emergency national security meeting as the US prepares its response to Iran's drone and missile attack on Israel.

President Biden holds high-stakes emergency meeting as Iran launches full-scale attack on Israel

Iron Dome Rocket Interceptions of Hamas Rockets- Southern Israel- Night Attack On Ashdod City

Israel closes airspace as it braces for Iranian drone attack

Iranian attack drones are 'en route to Israel', according to an Israeli Defence Force spokesperson.

Iran launches massive drone and missile attack on Israel as war in Middle East escalates

A mother who was stabbed while trying to defend her baby from the Sydney shopping centre knifeman has been pictured for the first time.

Pictured: Mother, 38, killed defending her baby from Sydney shopping centre massacre

Nearly 18,000 police officers were hired virtually by forces, prompting fears of another Wayne Couzens, LBC can reveal.

Nearly 18,000 police officers hired without face-to-face interviews by forces prompting fears of new Wayne Couzens

Lee Anderson's wife has been suspended by the Conservative party after being allegedly spotted campaigning for her husband's party Reform UK.

Lee Anderson's Tory councillor wife suspended from party after appearing to campaign for Reform in Ashfield