Here’s How Much AT&T Will Give Customers After Major Network Outage

AT&T said it will reimburse customers for the 12-hour network outage on Thursday.
Here’s How Much AT&T Will Give Customers After Major Network Outage
A woman uses her iPhone in a file photo. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

AT&T said it will reimburse customers for the 12-hour network outage on Thursday across the United States that even prevented some people from calling 911.

In a news release, the firm said that it will send out a $5 credit to impacted AT&T Wireless customers, which it said is the “average cost” of a day of network service.

“We recognize the frustration this outage has caused and know we let many of our customers down,” the company said on Saturday. “We understand this may have impacted their ability to connect with family, friends, and others. Small business owners may have been impacted, potentially disrupting an essential way they connect with customers.”

“To help make it right, we’re reaching out to potentially impacted customers and we’re automatically applying a credit to their accounts. We want to reassure our customers of our commitment to reliably connect them—anytime and anywhere.”

The reimbursement won’t apply to people who use Cricket Wireless, a subsidiary, or AT&T Business, according reports. Prepaid customers also will not be reimbursed.

Reports submitted to DownDetector, which only records self-reported outages, showed that at least 75,000 people were without AT&T service on Thursday, while more than 10,000 Cricket customers reported no service. It’s likely that the figure is much higher, however.

The reports showed that the service disruption started early on Thursday morning. AT&T confirmed that it restored all service at around 4 p.m. ET.

“We have restored wireless service to all our affected customers,” AT&T said on its website at the time. “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.”

Some local governments, law enforcement agencies, and other services said they were unable to receive emergency calls from AT&T users. And some local departments said that their staff, including police officers, were not able to use their cellphones, too.

Even though regional outages can be common. Nationwide outages are far more rare, and they generally don’t last 12 hours.

Several federal agencies are now investigating the matter, including the Federal Communications Commission and the FBI. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, told news outlets it is “working closely with AT&T to understand the cause of the outage and its impacts, and stand ready to offer any assistance needed.”

The Texas-based company added that the outage wasn’t caused by a cyberattack or something similar. It suggested that it was an internal problem instead, although no further details were provided.

“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,” the company said in a statement. In Saturday’s statement, it added it will take steps in order to “prevent this from happening again in the future.”
Politicians in Washington raised the alarm after the outage caught their attention Thursday, suggesting that future cyberattacks on critical U.S. infrastructure will be far worse.
“We are working to assess today’s disruption in order to gain a complete understanding of what went wrong and what can be done to prevent future incidents like this from occurring,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) warned that if the Chinese Communist Party executes a cyberattack in the future, it would cause far more devastating consequences for Americans.
In a post on X, Mr. Rubio, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote that “it will be 100 times worse when China launches a cyber attack on America on the eve of a Taiwan invasion.”

“And it won’t be just cell service they hit, it will be your power, your water, and your bank,” he said, adding that he doesn’t know the cause of the outage.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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