AT&T Cellular Phone Outages Reported Across U.S.; FCC “Actively Investigating” – Update

UPDATE: AT&T said that the widespread outages on Thursday were likely caused by a sortware update.

“Based on our initial review, we believe that today’s outage was caused by the application and execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network, not a cyber attack,” the company said in a statement Thursday evening.  “We are continuing our assessment of today’s outage to ensure we keep delivering the service that our customers deserve.”

More from Deadline

PREVIOUSLY, Thursday: AT&T said that it had restored service after a widespread cellular phone outage, although it still has not said what caused the disruption.

“We have restored wireless service to all our affected customers,” the company said in a statement. “We sincerely apologize to them. 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.”

According to, the peak of users reporting outages occurred at about 8 a.m. ET, but those disruptions subsided by mid-afternoon.

PREVIOUSLY: The FCC said that it is investigating widespread wireless phone outages today that impacted AT&T.

“We are aware of the reported wireless outages, and our Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is actively investigating,” an FCC spokesperson said. “We are in touch with AT&T and public safety authorities, including FirstNet, as well as other providers.”

AT&T said that its service has been restored to about 3/4 of its customers.

PREVIOUSLY: AT&T said that its service has been restored to about 3/4 of its network after widespread cellular phone outages today.

“Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning,” the company said in a statement. “Our network teams took immediate action and so far three-quarters of our network has been restored. We are working as quickly as possible to restore service to remaining customers.”

It is still unclear what has caused the outage.

PREVIOUSLY: AT&T said that cellular customers were experiencing outages this morning, but there were also reports of widespread disruptions at other carriers.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that is happening and some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning. We are working urgently to restore service to them. We encourage the use of Wi-Fi calling until service is restored,” AT&T said in a statement. No reason was given for the disruption.

Other carriers also were reporting disruptions, including Verizon and T-Mobile, according to Verizon and T-Mobile each said that their service was working normally but that customers were impacted when connecting to other carriers, according to the Associated Press.

The outages were widespread enough that local emergency service officials advised residents to use alternate means of contacting 911. In Montgomery County, MD, the PIO advised, “ATTENTION: There are now reports of cascading cellular service outages among major telecommunication providers such as: AT&T, Consumer Cellular, T-Mobile, US Cellular, & Verizon. If you need to contact 9-1-1 for emergency services, please utilize a landline or Text to 9-1-1”

The San Francisco Fire Department advised residents, “We are actively engaged and monitoring this. The San Francisco 911 center is still operational. If you are an AT&T customer and cannot get through to 911, then please try calling from a landline. If that is not an option then please try to get ahold of a friend or family member who is a customer of a different carrier and ask them to call 911 on your behalf. Do not call or text 911 to simply test your phone service.”

The FCC did not have an immediate comment.

According to Downdetector, more than 70,000 AT&T customers had submitted reports of problems as of 9 a.m. ET. The site monitors service disruptions via user reports and social media.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.