FCC calls hours-long T-Mobile service outage Monday ‘unacceptable’

National News

In this Feb. 14, 2018, photo, the logo for T-Mobile appears on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York. T-Mobile, one of the three largest mobile carriers in the U.S., said it’s working to fix a widespread network issue. The company’s president of technology, Neville Ray, tweeted Monday afternoon, June 15, 2020, at around 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time that T-Mobile engineers hope to fix the “voice and data issue” soon. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the U.S. communications regulator said T-Mobile’s nationwide, hours-long outage Monday was “unacceptable” and that the Federal Communications Commission will investigate.

T-Mobile, one of the country’s three largest cellphone service providers, said it had a “voice and text wireless issue” that began around noon EDT Monday. The company said at 1 a.m. Tuesday that all problems should be resolved.

The company blamed an internet-traffic issue that caused problems with its network for the outage.

AT&T and Verizon both said their networks were operating normally. But calls between their customers and T-Mobile customers could have run into trouble because of T-Mobile’s issues, creating the impression of a widespread communications failure.

The FCC has fined telecom companies in the past for network outages. T-Mobile paid a $17.5 million fine for two nationwide service outages on the same day in August 2014, which together lasted three hours and prevented customers from being able to call 911.

Public-safety officials were worried about lack of access to 911 on Monday as well. For example, the Redmond, Washington, police department tweeted that T-Mobile customers should have “an alternate plan in place in the event you need to call 911.”

T-Mobile became one of the country’s largest carriers, along with AT&T and Verizon, after buying rival Sprint. The company has started integrating the two networks.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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