AT&T Unsure What Caused Major 'Wireless Service Interruptions'

AT&T Unsure What Caused Major 'Wireless Service Interruptions'

Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith
|
February 22, 2024

Cellular service provider AT&T had a nasty power outage today that affected thousands across the U.S. The company states that they are unsure what caused the disruption in service.

The service’s interruption began at 3:30 a.m. ET and reached its zenith with around 73,000 subscribers. The main cities affected were Atlanta, Houston and Chicago. However, people all around the country were affected.

Because cell service was down, AT&T suggested that its subscribers should use Wi-Fi calling—a way to call users with the internet.

“Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning. We are working urgently to restore service to them. We encourage the use of Wi-Fi calling until service is restored,” said AT&T.

Some stated that emergency calling could have been an effective way to address the issue.

Texas Representative Greg Casar (D) highlighted the potential issues that could arise from the AT&T outages.

“The big AT&T outages are dangerous and need to be fixed immediately. We’re pushing on the company to provide explanations and a timeline for restoring service in Texas and across America,” said Rep. Casar.

Casar has pushed for strengthening the Texas grid for some time. Earlier this month, amidst news of upcoming severe weather,  Casar promoted his “Connect the Grid Act” to help protect Texans from power outages during brutal weather.

“After the 2021 storm, Republican officials said they'd fix the grid. They didn’t. Texans shouldn’t worry about mass power outages — or their lives — because of failed leadership. That’s why I’m finalizing the Connect the Grid Act to make sure Texans can keep the lights on,” tweeted Casar.

Texas’s power grid has been heavily affected by the cold as well as the heat, which is why Casar has pushed for his grid-protecting legislation.

“Whether we’re in the middle of a heat wave or a winter storm, Texas should be able to keep the lights on. This legislation will help consumers, improve the economy, generate more clean power, and save lives,” said Casar.

According to the 2023 statement, close to 90% of Texas’s electricity is run solely through the state grid.

Because of the state’s brutally extreme weather conditions, Casar believes it is crucial that Texas is connected to the national grid.

Furthermore, cities like El Paso and Jasper are connected to the national grid and did not suffer mass power outages in the rough Winter Storm Uri in 2021.

“Whether we’re in the middle of a heat wave or a winter storm, Texas should be able to keep the lights on.  That’s why I’m drafting federal legislation to require Texas to connect to the national grids,” said Casar in 2023.

The congressman continued, “We have to stop playing the political blame game. We have to stop playing to the biggest corporate interests that want to have a monopoly in this state and do the right thing, interconnect to the grid. It will save us billions of dollars. It will save us from these kinds of blackouts, and it will actually be good for our economy. I'm drafting up the first bill ever in the Congress to finally require that interconnection.”

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Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith is a writer and recent graduate, majoring in English.

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