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Power failure to blame for massive AT&T network outage

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 6:11PM EST

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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.


Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.