‘It’s weird;’ Nationwide cell service outage leaves thousands of people disconnected

An outage led to people across the country losing cell service today, including some in the Miami Valley.

The outage impacted some AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile customers.

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“Didn’t notice really anything until about 630 this morning. My mom texted me saying there’s an outage,” Laura Fairchild, from Butler Township said.

Fairchild told News Center 7′s John Bedell she didn’t experience the outage for herself until her drive to work.

“None of my texts were going through. I couldn’t call anybody. So while it was on Wi-Fi, I was totally fine,” Fairchild said. “But leaving the house and I get here, and then all of a sudden I’m getting all these text messages when I got on the guest Wi-Fi and it’s like, ‘ding ding, ding, ding ding.’”

Fairchild’s service was restored on her AT&T network by early afternoon. However, the outage impacted thousands across the country on several major carriers.

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“This being a nationwide outage, I think that’s the unique factor of this outage,” Cybersecurity Professional Rufus Mathew said.

Mathew graduated from Cedarville University and is a Cybersecurity professional. He says outages are usually regional, and there is likely one of two reasons for a Nationwide outage.

“The first being the AT&T internal technical issues, which could be something like a server overload. The second scenario, which I hope it’s not, it is a cyber threat, a cyber attack,” Mathew said.

Many dispatch centers posted the outage would impact people’s ability to call 911, and that’s what Laura was worried about.

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“It’s kind of scary because in times of need, what are you going to do?” Fairchild said.

Despite the concern, she said that today’s outage also had her feeling a little nostalgic.

“Remember back when we didn’t have to have a phone and you had a pager and you’re like so yeah,” Fairchild said. “And it is, it’s weird. Just the last 20 years how much it really has grown and changed our lives in a way.”

According to DownDetector, Dayton was within the top 50 cities with AT$T outages and reported problems today, coming in at number 47 with 2,913 reports. For context, Houston, Texas was top with more than 24,000 outages.