sábado, abril 13

AT&T says service restored after widespread cellular outage

AT&T said Thursday it had fully restored service to its wireless network after a widespread outage temporarily knocked out user connections across the United States for many hours, the cause of which was still under investigation. .

The outage, which affected residents in cities including Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York, was first reported around 3:30 a.m. Eastern Time, according to Downdetector.com, which tracks user reports about the outages. telecommunications and Internet disruptions. At its peak, the site listed about 70,000 reports of service disruptions for the wireless carrier.

Multiple government agencies said they were investigating the incident, although the Biden administration told reporters that AT&T said there was no reason to believe it was a cyberattack .

AT&T did not disclose the extent of the outage or the reason for it. When the outage began Thursday morning, the company said the cause was a «maintenance activity.»

Jim Greer, an AT&T spokesman, apologized in a statement confirming that service had been restored and said the company was «taking steps to ensure our customers do not experience this again in the future.»

The outage highlighted the importance of connectivity in daily life, with individuals and businesses cut off from communications and the ability to use mobile apps. AT&T advised consumers to make calls over Wi-Fi and sought to respond online to unhappy customers. Many phones displayed an «SOS» symbol on their screen, signaling that they could only make emergency calls, while local governments offered other ways to reach 911.

Outage reports on Downdetector started coming in mid-morning, and at one point AT&T’s website showed that outages were limited to users in California, although users in other states were still reporting outages. problems. Cricket, which is owned by AT&T, also reported its users were experiencing wireless service outages and said it was working to restore service.

Reports also surfaced Thursday morning that FirstNet, the network AT&T maintains for emergency services personnel, had experienced outages, but AT&T said around 10:30 a.m. that the network was fully operational.

Verizon had 3,000 outage reports at one point Thursday and T-Mobile had about half that. Both companies said in statements that their networks were operating normally.

“Some customers experienced issues this morning when calling or texting with customers served by another carrier,” Verizon said. “We continue to monitor the situation.”

In an email, T-Mobile said there was no outage. “Downdetector likely reflects the difficulties our customers experienced when trying to connect to users on other networks.”

Washington officials said they were working to understand the cause of the outage. A spokesperson for the Federal Communications Commission said its investigation was being conducted by its Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, which was in contact with AT&T as well as other providers.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a call with reporters Thursday that the Biden administration had been informed «that AT&T had no reason to believe that this was a cybersecurity incident,” although adding that they would not be certain until an investigation. had been completed.

Mr. Kirby said that in addition to the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI were working with technology companies to investigate the outage.

The FBI said in a statement that it was in contact with AT&T and would respond accordingly if malicious activity was detected.

Throughout the day, cities urged residents to find alternative ways to access emergency or municipal services, such as landlines or Wi-Fi-connected phones. The city of Upper Arlington, in Ohio, said firefighters may not be notified of fire alarms because of the outage. He asked that any fire alarm be followed by a 911 call.

The San Francisco Fire Department said on social media that it was aware of an issue affecting AT&T users who attempted to call 911. «We are actively engaged and monitoring this,» the fire department said. «If you’re an AT&T customer and can’t reach 911, try calling from a landline.»

Massachusetts State Police said on social media By Thursday morning, 911 call centers across the state had been flooded with calls from people checking to see if the emergency service was working from their phones. “Please don’t do this,” police said. “If you are able to make a non-emergency call to another number through your cell service, your 911 service will work as well.”

Even in less extreme circumstances, the outage complicated many elements of life that now depend on a reliable connection to the internet.

Staff at the First Watch restaurant in Dania Beach, Florida, had to turn away breakfast customers for a time while the outage prevented them from processing payments.

Debra Maddow, who lives in southwest Houston, said she first noticed something was wrong after 7 a.m., when she went to check traffic and Google Maps was up. offline. Later, she went to a Starbucks to make an urgent call over the free Wi-Fi, she said.

“I’m really frustrated that they’re not telling us anything,” Ms. Maddow said in a telephone interview via Wi-Fi. She said she tried calling AT&T for an update, but after a long waiting period, the call was interrupted.

Victor Mather, John Keefe, Zolan Kanno-Youngs And Adam Goldman reports contributed.