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AT&T cell services restored, FCC and Homeland Security investigating

AT&T says technical error caused massive cell service outage
AT&T says technical error caused massive cell service outage 00:34

UPDATE: AT&T shared a statement, apologizing for the cell service issues and said it was ensuring "our customers do not experience this again in the future."

Around 6:45 p.m., the carrier explained the reasoning for the nationwide outage.

"Based on our initial review, we believe that today's outage was caused by the application and execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network, not a cyber attack. We are continuing our assessment of today's outage to ensure we keep delivering the service that our customers deserve."

NORTH TEXAS — The FCC and Homeland Security are currently investigating why thousands of people across the country have had cellphone service issues for most of Thursday morning.

Many North Texans were impacted. For Dallas-based AT&T, more than 70,000 customers did not have service at one point. Verizon, Cricket Wireless, and T-Mobile also had outages for thousands of users. The biggest areas impacted were Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and Indianapolis.

"It's because we've become so reliant on technology, I think that kind of filters we kind of freak out," said North Texas resident Natalie Ruybal.

According to tracking website, outages lasted from as early as 2:00 a.m. through noon Thursday. For the peak of the outage, AT&T had 73,919 users without service, Verizon had 4,301, Cricket had 13,880 and T-Mobile had 2,040.

"My maps were down, so I know a lot of people use their maps to get to work," said Fort Worth resident Lexis Delgado. 

Delgado told CBS News Texas her husband lost signal right after he dropped her off a Trinity Park with their three kids. 

"I was just hoping that he would remember how to get back here. He's not very good at direction," Delgado said, joking.

Some first responders were also frustrated with the mass outage. Fort Worth-based MedStar uses cellphones for most of their communication with medics in the field. 

"They didn't have that luxury of knowing that they were getting a call, knowing what kind of call it was," said Desiree Partain, transformation manager with MedStar.

Partain said the EMS service had to transition to an old-school method with using two-way radio for navigation and coordination. 

"When we go to the backup mode, we're dispatching all of our calls through radio, we're navigating crews to calls so there's a lot more noise and chatter," Partain said.

MedStar says residents can always call 911, even during a widespread outage.

For some North Texans, they embraced the outage and said they were thankful for the excuse to disconnect.

"I feel like it's kind of positive because you can kind of let the world go and enjoy life that's that's nice especially on a nice day like this," Delgado said.

Cell phone outages impact users in DFW, elsewhere 02:47
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