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AT&T Outage Disrupts Phone Service Nationwide

AT&T customers across the United States faced a significant outage on Thursday morning, with widespread reports of disrupted phone calls, text messages, and internet access. While Verizon and T-Mobile also experienced some network issues, they were notably less widespread compared to AT&T’s outage.

Over 74,000 AT&T customers reported outages on the digital-service tracking site DownDetector, indicating the scale of the disruption. AT&T acknowledged the outage and urged affected customers to use Wi-Fi calling until service was fully restored. The company’s network has encountered sporadic outages in recent days, including a temporary 911 outage in parts of the southeastern United States.

Although AT&T did not provide an official reason for the outage, industry sources suggest it may be related to the process of handing off calls between networks. There is no indication that the outage resulted from a cyberattack.

Local governments and emergency services reported disruptions caused by the outage. San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management highlighted the issue’s impact on 911 calls, urging residents to use landlines or alternative services for emergencies. Similarly, other regions advised residents to use Wi-Fi for emergency calls if they couldn’t connect through AT&T’s network.

Despite the challenges, AT&T’s FirstNet network, designed for first responders, remained operational, providing a crucial lifeline during emergencies.

While Verizon and T-Mobile confirmed some network issues, they emphasized that their services were largely unaffected by AT&T’s outage. Downdetector reported approximately 1,000 outages from Verizon and T-Mobile customers, mostly related to connectivity with users on other networks.

As AT&T works urgently to restore full service, the outage underscores the vulnerability of modern communication networks and the importance of robust backup systems to ensure uninterrupted service during emergencies.

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