AT&T Says It’s ‘Working Urgently’ to Fix Widespread Cellular Disruption

AT&T was hit by a widespread outage affecting users across the United States early Thursday and gave no indication of when services would be restored.

The outage, which affected people in cities including Atlanta, Los Angeles and Dallas, was first reported around 3:30 a.m. Eastern time, and cellular service and internet problems were still being widely reported five hours later, according to Downdetector.com, which tracks user reports of telecommunication and internet disruptions.

AT&T said in a statement on Thursday that some of its customers were experiencing wireless service interruptions. “We are working urgently to restore service to them,” the statement said, without giving an estimate of when service would be back. “We encourage the use of Wi-Fi calling until service is restored.”

Around 8 a.m., about 70,000 people were reporting to Downdetector that they were experiencing problems with AT&T. Verizon and T-Mobile were seeing much smaller numbers of reports, at about 4,000 and 2,000, respectively.

AT&T said on its website that there outages were affecting users in cities including San Diego, Richmond and Miami, with the initial cause listed as “maintenance activity.”

Verizon and T-Mobile 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 are continuing to monitor the situation.”

In an email, T-Mobile said: “We did not experience an outage. Our network is operating normally. Downdetector is likely reflecting challenges our customers were having attempting to connect to users on other networks.”

The San Francisco Fire Department said on social media that it was aware of an issue impacting AT&T users who were trying to call 911. “We are actively engaged and monitoring this,” the fire department said. “If you are an AT&T customer and cannot get through to 911, then please try calling from a landline.”

The city of Upper Arlington, Ohio, said the Fire Department might not be notified of fire alarms because of the outage. It urged that any fire alarm be followed up with a 911 call. A flood of AT&T users turned to social media to complain about their service or ask if others were experiencing similar issues.

This is a developing story.

Victor Mather contributed reporting.

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