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AT&T massive cell phone network outage caused by technical error in coding

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Brandon Lee
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AT&T experienced a widespread outage affecting thousands of its U.S. cellphone users due to a technical error, not a cyberattack. The disruption began early Thursday and was resolved by the evening. The Dallas-based carrier, the largest in the country with over 240 million subscribers, attributed the issue to a coding error incurred during network expansion efforts. Peak reports of the outage reached approximately 73,000 incidents according to Downdetector, with significant disruptions in cities like Houston, Atlanta, and Chicago.

By evening, reported issues had drastically decreased to fewer than 1,000. Cricket Wireless, an AT&T subsidiary, also saw a peak of over 9,000 reported outages, which later declined. Users on other networks, including Verizon and T-Mobile, experienced connectivity problems attributed to attempts at reaching AT&T customers.

The outage led some iPhone users to notice SOS messages, indicating troubles connecting to the AT&T network but still allowing emergency calls through other carriers. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) inquired into the incident, and the Department of Homeland Security alongside the FBI also conducted investigations to rule out malicious activity.

The situation garnered attention from the National Security Council and prompted a response from Capitol Hill, with key committee chairs expressing intent to fully understand the disruption's causes to prevent similar future incidents.

Posted : 23/02/2024 11:57 am
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