AT&T network hardware issue disrupts wireless service in Southeast

Wireless service for customers at a variety of carriers was disrupted yesterday across parts of the Southeast due to a hardware issue in AT&T's (NYSE: T) wireline network. The issue affected customers in parts of Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, according to media reports.

The issue affected not only AT&T customers but also customers of Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ), T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), Sprint (NYSE: S) and U.S. Cellular (NYSE:USM). Affected customers of all of the carriers took to social media yesterday to vent their frustration over a loss of service.

"Wireless and wireline service has been restored for all customers in parts of the Southeast affected by a hardware-related network issue," AT&T said in a statement. "Our engineers completed repairs and service is running normally. We apologize for any inconvenience."

AT&T spokeswoman Emily Edmonds told FierceWireless the company will fully investigate the root cause of the hardware issue. The problem began early afternoon and the disruption was "fully resolved by early evening," she said.

As Re/code notes, AT&T is the primary wireline service provider in the region and other carriers rely on its fiber and wireline networks for backhaul.

Verizon said in a statement to Knoxville, Tenn.-based TV Station WATE that the outage lasted approximately five hours and that engineers were able to identify and resolve the issue and service was restored by 8:20 p.m. Eastern Time.

According to Nashville, Tenn,-based TV station WKRN, U.S. Cellular blamed the issue on two routers with a third-party vendor, which it did not name. T-Mobile also issued a statement saying it was "in touch with the vendor regarding the source of the issue affecting customers." According to the Times Free Press newspaper in Tennessee, Sprint said the issue appeared to be caused by a local exchange provider, and that the company's network was working with the provider to restore service.

For more:
- see this Re/code article
- see this PhoneScoop article
- see this Tennessean article
- see this Times Free Press article
- see this article
- see this article 

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