Power failure to blame for massive AT&T network outage

Yesterday we broke the news of a massive AT&T network outage that came at one of the worst possible times – right smack in the middle of Wal-Mart’s iPhone 3G launch. Users from various regions throughout the eastern United States were reporting communication interruptions ranging from dropped calls to the complete inability to send/receive any voice or data. According to a later report from Chicago’s Sun Times, the cause of the massive network trauma was a power outage originating in Bloomfield, Michigan. The explanation seems a bit curious however, as some users in affected areas were reporting that their service was working fine – the Sun Times even quoted a couple as saying that while driving together in the same car, the husband’s phone was completely dead while the wife had no service problems at all.

While the bulk of comments were from areas that would certainly be affected such as Michigan, Wisconsin Illinois and the surrounding areas, we also received plenty of reports from up and down the east coast. AT&T customers from as far north as Rochester, NY to as far south as Florida were commenting and sending emails about their inability to make data and/or voice connections. A spokeswoman from AT&T later stated that “virtually all service traffic” was back up and running around 9:00 pm local time, yet we were still getting reports of network troubles well beyond midnight. Whatever the case may be however, AT&T seems to be back in business this morning as reports of connection issues have slowed to a halt.

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