AT&T suffers major network outage Saturday

Silverisdead / CC BY 2.0

AT&T reportedly suffered a major network outage in areas of the Midwest and Eastern U.S. Saturday afternoon. And while the carrier said service was restored by early Saturday evening, some customers in Oklahoma and Louisiana apparently were struggling to access the network Sunday night and this morning.

The Dayton Business Journal reported Saturday’s outage occurred in parts of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Missouri, Minnesota “and a handful of other states.” Service was available for some customers in some of the affected areas, and the extent of the outage and reason for it were unknown.

The hashtag #ATToutage was trending on Twitter by mid-afternoon Saturday, and The Kansas City Star reported that an AT&T store confirmed the outage. An AT&T spokesperson confirmed to the Business Journal that some customers in the Midwest “may have briefly experienced issues with their wireless or cVoIP services” Saturday, but said the network was “running normally” by early Saturday evening.

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The network apparently continued to struggle in the southern U.S. Monday morning, however, according to Outage.Report, which enables users to self-report network troubles. Customers reported difficulties in accessing the network in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Oklahoma City; and several Texas towns, according to the site.

“Our restoration work continues around the clock to restore service for affected customers after our mobility switching center in Baton Rouge flooded during severe weather," AT&T said in a statement. "As progress is made during these efforts, service will return for some customers and others may continue to experience intermittent service. We are deploying resources including generators, Cell on Light Trucks (COLTs) and Emergency Communications Vehicles (ECVs) to help restore service as quickly as possible.”

The carrier added that service had been restored "for the vast majority" of its customers, and that it was working "around the clock" to repair the flooded wireless switching center. 

Occasional network failures are nothing new for mobile network operators, of course, particularly during fierce storms and natural disasters. AT&T's prepaid brand Cricket Wireless offered $5 in credit to some users who suffered through an outage several weeks ago. Sprint experienced "a major network outage" in the Northeast U.S. in March that affected 3G and 4G voice and data services in markets including Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Verizon was hit with a network failure in some Florida markets in June, and earlier this summer T-Mobile confirmed that it suffered a network outage earlier this year that appeared to affect customers' ability across the country to make voice calls over Wi-Fi and LTE.

For more:
- see this Dayton Business Journal report
- check Outage.Report’s AT&T web page

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