Suspected Cause Of Massive AT&T Service Outage Revealed

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The massive outages that affected tens of thousands of AT&T customers on Thursday (February 22) are suspected to have been caused by a glitch in a software update, the company said in a statement obtained by ABC News.

AT&T claimed the outages were caused by "the application and execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network," rather than a cyberattack, as many feared.

"We are continuing our assessment of today’s outage to ensure we keep delivering the service that our customers deserve," the statement added.

Preliminary information showed that the software update went wrong, however, nothing nefarious or malicious took place as it was not caused by an external actor, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to ABC News.

More than 71,000 AT&T outages were reported just before 8:00 a.m. ET, with the majority of issues occurring in Houston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Atlanta, according to the company's official website. An estimated 3,000 Verizon outages and just over 1,100 T-Mobile outages were reported at 7:00 a.m. Thursday, though both companies claimed their outages weren't directly impacting customers, rather people attempting to reach another carrier experiencing the issues.

The reported outages created concern for customers unable to call 911 during an emergency situation, which was acknowledged by the San Francisco Fire Department.

"We are aware of an issue impacting AT&T wireless customers from making and receiving any phone calls (including to 911)," the department wrote on its X account Thursday, "We are actively engaged and monitoring this. The San Francisco 911 center is still 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. Do not call or text 911 to simply test your phone service."

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