Cellular Network Outages Reported Nationwide, Cause Unknown

“We are continuing our assessment,” said AT&T.

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The country’s largest wireless network provider has restored services for “tens of thousands” of customers following a nationwide “outage” — or blackout — on Thursday.

At approximately 4:36 a.m. EST, thousands of AT&T customers reported disruptions resulting in “total blackout” and restricted access to emergency services. By 9:06 a.m. EST, the company’s outages peaked at approximately 74,000 reported incidents, according to data from Downdetector.

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

Other service providers — including Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Boost Mobile and Straight Talk — simultaneously reported 19,880 outages within major cities including Dallas, Houston, Chicago and New York City.

Despite these numbers, Verizon and T-Mobile said their respective networks were not experiencing outages — but that customers contacting individuals affected by the aforementioned blackouts were experiencing difficulties.



Meanwhile, AT&T stores across the United States were inundated with confused and disgruntled customers demanding explanations and — in some cases — compensations for the inconvenience.

“There must be something you can do,” exclaimed one hysterical customer to a sales representative in the presence of this author. “I cannot live without my phone … How do you plan to make it up to me?”

Come 3:10 p.m. ES T— nearly 12 hours after the first wave of outages were reported — AT&T announced it had restored wireless services nationwide … without explanation.

“We sincerely apologize,” said the telecommunications company. Keeping our customers connected remains our top priority, and we are taking steps to ensure our customers do not experience this again in the future.”

As for what caused the early-morning blackouts? The White House, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are “looking into” the event.

In layman’s terms, the world’s most dominant economic and military powerhouse — and second most technologically advanced country — cannot figure out what happen on Thursday.



“The bottom line is we don’t have all the answers,” said White House National Security spokesman John Kirby within hours of the outages. “I mean, this just happened earlier today. And so we’re working very hard to see if we can get to the ground truth of exactly what happened.”

It is worth noting that while solar flares erupted from the sun’s atmosphere between 6:07 p.m. EST on Wednesday and 1:32 a.m. on Thursday — the cellular outages were “unlikely to be related,” according to the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC).

“I’ve worked at AT&T for 15 years,” an anonymous employee told this author. “Sure, we’ve seen outages all across the country before … but never like this. Never on this scale.”

Simultaneous to Thursday’s “blackout” was a widely underreported cyberattack against healthcare conglomerate Change Healthcare — in which pharmacies were unable to process prescriptions due to nationwide software issues.

All the while, a “radio blackout” struck North Africa and Southwest Asia, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

This story may be updated as new information becomes available …



Andrew Fancher (Travis Bell)

Andrew Fancher is a Lone Star Emmy award-winning journalist from Dallas, Texas. Cut from a bloodline of outlaws and lawmen alike, he was the first of his family to graduate college which was accomplished with honors. Got a story idea or news tip for Andy? Email him directly and connect with him socially across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.



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1 comment

Think About It February 24, 2024 at 12:22 pm

Another reason to augment your family communications by installing CB, GMRS, or ham, radio equipment in your car and home. Licenses are required for ham and General Mobile Radio Service, but not for Citizens Band. Something to consider. If the system goes down and stays down for days or weeks at a time, you will wish that you had.


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