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AT&T says all of its cellphone network has been restored

Clinical Specialist Andre Thompson, of the C4 clinical navigation team, fields priority five 911 calls on Sept. 13, 2023, at the Combined Transportation, Emergency, and Communications Center in Austin.
Michael Minasi
KUT News
Emergency call centers, like this one in Austin, are not able to receive calls from some cellphone customers.

AT&T says it has restored cellular service for its customers following a widespread outage.

The outage struck AT&T customers across the United States Thursday, making it difficult for some to make emergency calls.

Customers who needed to call 911 were told to use a landline or Wi-Fi calling, local first responder agencies said. Cellphone customers who had an "SOS" signal were still able to call 911.

AT&T outage reports began to roll in just before 3 a.m. Thursday, according to On AT&T's outage page, the company initially said it is "working urgently to restore service" and encouraged Wi-Fi calling during the outage.

The Austin Police Department said it was having issues contacting people whose emergency calls were disconnected.

“Do not hang up, unless you are certain the call has been disconnected,” APD said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “When calling into 9-1-1, provide the most important information at the beginning of the call: specific details about location, name of person calling and alternative ways to reconnect.” If your 911 call is disconnected, call again, APD said.

While showed similar outage reports from T-Mobile and Verizon, the companies told the New York Times that their networks were operating normally. T-Mobile and Verizon said the reports were likely due to their customers reporting they weren't able to contact AT&T customers.

Makayla Woods, a third-year student at UT Austin, said she first noticed the outage when her alarm went off this morning. "I saw the SOS in the corner and was really confused. I’ve only seen it a handful of times," she said. "It was like you have no service. It’s only available for emergency calls. And I was like what’s going on?”

Woods says her life wasn’t too disrupted, but she did struggle to find her way to a building on campus without the use of a map on her phone.

AT&T has not yet given a reason for the outage. The Times reported AT&T does not believe a cyberattack was at fault.

With reporting from KUT's Audrey McGlinchy

This story has been updated.

Andy Jechow is the audience engagement editor for KUT News. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter at @AndyJechow.