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Wireless service restored for all AT&T customers affected by nationwide outage

It was not immediately clear what triggered the service disruption.

The nationwide AT&T outage that affected tens of thousands of customers Thursday has been resolved.

Wireless service was restored by afternoon, and the company said that after an initial review of the day, it believes the outage “was caused by the application and execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network, not a cyber attack.”

A look at how the day unfolded.

By 4 a.m. ET, more than 32,000 AT&T customers had reported outages. The number dipped before spiking again to more than 50,000 outages around 7 a.m. In the next hour, the number again climbed to 71,000.

Customers of Verizon and T-Mobile also reported outages, but both companies said that they had not suffered an outage directly, but that customers could have had issues trying to connect with those using another carrier.

Prepaid wireless service provider Cricket Wireless, which is owned by AT&T and uses its networks, also experienced outages Thursday morning, with more than 13,500 customers reporting outages around 8 a.m. 

The Federal Communications Commission is actively investigating the incident with The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security lending a hand.

Wireless service to all affected AT&T customers was restored by about 3 p.m., according to a statement from the company.

AT&T: 'We have restored wireless service to all our affected customers'

Service is back for all AT&T customers affected by today's outage.

"We have restored wireless service to all our affected customers. We sincerely apologize to them. Keeping our customers connected remains our top priority, and we are taking steps to ensure our customers do not experience this again in the future," the company said in a statement.

By the numbers: Outages by carrier as of 3 p.m.

Most outages appeared to be resolved by the afternoon, according to Downdetector data.

AT&T: 3,600

Cricket Wireless: 600

Verizon: 850

T-Mobile: 500

Boost: 60

UScellular: 100

White House: FBI, DHS assisting with outage investigation

In today's White House news conference, John Kirby, the assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, told reporters that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security were assisting the Federal Communications Commission with its investigation into what caused today's outage.

Kirby said the FBI and DHS "are working with the tech industry (and) these network providers to see what we can do from a federal perspective to lend (a) hand to their investigative efforts to figure out what happened here."

Kirby added that there were not yet firm answers as to the outage's origins.

"This just happened earlier today," he said. "And so we’re working very hard to see if we can get to the ground truth and exactly what happened."

"I know folks in (the) industry are working hard to get restoration of services to those that are still without those services," Kirby said.

FCC is investigating AT&T outage

The Federal Communications Commission says it is actively investigating the AT&T outage.

"We are aware of the reported wireless outages, and our Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is actively investigating. We are in touch with AT&T and public safety authorities, including FirstNet, as well as other providers," said the FCC, which oversees communication by radio, wire, satellite and cable across the country.

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is also monitoring the situation.

How to use your iPhone in ‘SOS mode’ amid AT&T outage

While AT&T works to figure out what caused the outage for customers in major cities, users are resorting to using “SOS mode,” which enables emergency services and shares your location.

Read the full story here.

NBC’s Brian Cheung reports that emergency services is calling on users not to call 911 to test if phones are connected to the network.

Professor believes 'cloud misconfiguration' is likely cause of outage

AT&T has not said what caused today's nationwide outage.

However, Lee McKnight, an associate professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, said the most likely cause “is a cloud misconfiguration. Which is a fancy word for saying human error.”

“A possible but far less likely outcome is an intentional malicious hack of ATT’s network, but the diffuse pattern of outages across the country suggests something more fundamental,” he added in a statement.  

By the numbers: Outages by carrier as of 1 p.m.

Outages have declined steadily today.

Here are the latest numbers, according to Downdetector.

AT&T: 16,700

Cricket Wireless: 3,100

Verizon: 1,300

T-Mobile: 800

Boost: 270

UScellular: 130

Agencies give guidance on what to do in case of an emergency

Agencies across the country urged for calm amid AT&T's outage, some acknowledging that customers were briefly unable to contact 911.

Multiple agencies including the San Francisco Fire Department, Texas’ Fort Worth police, Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, Virginia’s Prince William County Police Department, and North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department stressed that their 911 call centers were operational.

“If you are an AT&T customer and cannot get through to 911, then please try calling from a landline. If that is not an option then please try to get ahold of a friend or family member who is a customer of a different carrier and ask them to call 911 on your behalf,” the San Francisco Fire Department said on X, a messaged echoed by other agencies.

Maryland's Montgomery County Department of Police asked people to refrain from calling 911 to test their cellphones.

"Please only dial 911 for an actual emergency," the department said.

Agency tasked with monitoring cyber threats is monitoring the situation

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said it is in touch with AT&T but did not say there is any indication of a cyberattack.

“CISA is aware of the reports and we are working closely with AT&T to understand the cause of the outage and its impacts, and stand ready to offer any assistance needed,” Eric Goldstein, the agency’s executive assistant director for cybersecurity, said in an emailed statement.

75% of AT&T's network has been restored, company says

AT&T is making progress in restoring service to tens of thousands of customers affected by this morning's nationwide outage.

"Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning. Our network teams took immediate action and so far three-quarters of our network has been restored. We are working as quickly as possible to restore service to remaining customers," the company said in a statement.

Cricket Wireless later issued an identical statement.

Cause of AT&T outage still unclear

NBC News

AT&T said it is working to resolve the issue and restore service, but did not shed light on what caused the outage.

Some iPhone users are seeing SOS messages on their devices

The Associated Press

Some iPhone users have seen SOS messages displayed in the status bar on their cellphones. The message indicates that the device is having trouble connecting to their cellular provider’s network, but it can make emergency calls through other carrier networks, according to Apple Support.

Read the full story here.

By the numbers: Current outages by carrier

Here are where outage numbers stand by provider as of 10 a.m., according to Downdetector, which gathers its information from user-submitted reports, data on social media and other key indicators. 

AT&T: 65,800

Cricket Wireless: 10,400

Verizon: 3,200

T-Mobile: 1,700

Boost: 800

UScellular: 500

Cricket, owned by AT&T, also dealing with outages

Prepaid wireless service provider Cricket Wireless, which is owned by AT&T and uses its networks, is also experiencing outages this morning. 

More than 13,500 customers reported outages around 8 a.m., according to Downdetector. The number has since dipped to 11,500 as of 9:30 a.m. 

Cricket was responding to customer complaints on X by saying: "Allow us to explain that there is a nationwide network incident impacting multiple services. It is Cricket’s top priority to restore service to full capacity as quickly and safely as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused."

Over 70,000 AT&T customers still experiencing outages

The AT&T customer outages started early with about 32,000 customers reporting outages as of 4 a.m. ET, according to tracking site Downdetector.

That number dipped to about 23,000 at 6 a.m., but spiked again hitting 74,000 around 8 a.m.

As of 10 a.m., the number of outages remains around 72,000. 

AT&T’s 5G network reaches 290 million people across the U.S., according to the company’s website

911 centers are getting flooded with calls, Massachusetts State Police say

Massachusetts State Police urged those in the state against calling 911 to test if their cell service is working.

"Many 911 centers in the state are getting flooded w/ calls from people trying to see if 911 works from their cell phone," it said in a post on X. "Please do not do this."

Atlanta mayor issues statement on AT&T outages

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said city officials are "aware that AT&T is having cellular outages this week" and are "actively gathering information" about how the city can assist in resolving the outages.

Outages appear to be widespread in Atlanta, according to the tracking site Downdetector.

Dickens noted that Atlanta's e-911 is able to "receive inbound and make outbound calls."

T-Mobile: 'We did not experience an outage'

T-Mobile said Downdetector numbers likely reflect customers attempting to reach users on other networks.

"We did not experience an outage," the company said in a statement. "Our network is operating normally."

Verizon says it is monitoring the situation

Verizon said that the outages are not affecting its network directly, but customers trying to reach another carrier are experiencing issues. 

“We are continuing to monitor the situation,” the company said.

AT&T recommends Wi-Fi calling until service is restored

AT&T said it is "working urgently to restore service" to customers affected by this morning's outage.

Until then, customers should use Wi-Fi calling, the company said in a statement.

Cricket Wireless, which is owned by AT&T, released an identical statement.