The FCC will investigate the major outage experienced by AT&T subscribers last month

The FCC will investigate the major outage experienced by AT&T subscribers last month
You might remember that morning in late February when it first appeared that the three major carriers, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, were all down. But after a closer look, it became apparent that the problem provider was AT&T. Verizon and T-Mobile subscribers, unable to connect to co-workers, friends, and family members using AT&T, mistakenly thought that their service was down too.

Besides AT&T, MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) that rely on AT&T's network also were down. These are usually pre-paid wireless firms that don't own their own networks and pay one of the majors to use their airwaves to connect their customers. The number of complaints submitted by AT&T users on DownDetector had soared that morning from 11 to over 32,000. 

That day, after service was restored, AT&T explained what had caused the outage by releasing this statement: "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 cyberattack. We are continuing our assessment of today’s outage to ensure we keep delivering the service that our customers deserve."


The Street reports that the FCC is going to open an investigation into the outage.The reach of the outage was tremendous with millions of people unable to make or take calls and send or receive texts. Mobile data was down and even more disturbing, and a good reason why the FCC feels the need to investigate, emergency calls from some AT&T subscribers could not be placed.

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After the FCC announced that it would take a deep dive into AT&T's February 22nd outage, the nation's third-largest wireless provider shrugged its corporate shoulders and said, "The industry routinely cooperates with our key regulators in the aftermath of serious outages to evaluate how network resiliency and reliability can be improved. We are already working with the FCC on its review."

Of course, we will cover any public announcement that the regulatory agency makes after it completes its investigation of last month's AT&T outage. Check in often!

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