AT&T users in 14 or more states across the United States were unable to call emergency services, but the company has since solved the issues.
The problem occurred last night and AT&T has restored access to emergency services in the meantime, but people are still wondering what happened.
It remains unclear for now just what was the root cause of the issue, but many customers on AT&T's wireless network could not make calls to 911 on Wednesday, March 8. The outage lasted for roughly an hour and drew the attention of the Federal Communications Commission.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai first acknowledged reports of widespread 911 call outage on AT&T's network, then announced that the service has been restored. The FCC will look into the matter to find out what happened and what damage it might have caused.
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) March 9, 2017
AT&T has not offered any details regarding the extent of the outage or what caused it in the first place. With several parts of the United States affected by this problem, leaving AT&T users unable to call 911, authorities offered alternative ways for people to contact emergency services in their area.
Police departments relied on social media to get the message out, announcing on Twitter that affected users could call the main telephone lines of the departments if they couldn't call 911.
However, using the regular, non-emergency lines also meant that dispatchers could not see the location of the caller, so callers had to provide the address where they needed assistance.
AT&T 911 Call Outage: How Widespread Was It?
According to reports from officials across the United States, the AT&T 911 call outage affected at least 14 U.S. states, namely California, Alabama, Colorado, Arkansas, Indiana, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Louisiana, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, and West Virginia. Washington was also affected by the outage.
AT&T is the second-largest wireless carrier in the United States and such an outage in multiple states nationwide indicates that the issue was quite widespread. The severity of the issue was magnified by the fact that it affected access to emergency services, which is paramount.
For some AT&T users the issue apparently manifested sporadically, while for others it was statewide. Twitter was abuzz with reports of the outage as people tried to figure out what happened and what to do in such a situation.
AT&T is expected to issue a statement once it figures out what caused the outage and how many users it affected. For now, the carrier said it has resolved the issue that "affected some calls to 911 from wireless customers." AT&T also apologized for the inconvenience that affected customers might have experienced.
As always, we'll keep you up to date as soon as more information becomes available regarding what caused the AT&T 911 outage. With both AT&T and the FCC looking into the matter, more details should surface shortly.
Have you been affected by the AT&T 911 outage? If so, in what state, for how long and how did you manage to contact emergency services? Drop by our comment section below and tell us about your experience.