AT&T wireless service restored

AT&T spokeswoman Lili, an actress from the company's TV ads.

1:50 p.m. — AT&T said its wireless network was back after an outage knocked out cellphone service for its users across the U.S. for hours.

Some iPhone users saw SOS messages displayed in the status bar on their cellphones. The message indicates that the device is having trouble connecting to their cellular provider’s network, but it can make emergency calls through other carrier networks, according to Apple Support.

So far, no reason has been given for the outages. But Lee McKnight, an associate professor in the iSchool at Syracuse University, cited the most likely cause of the outage as a cloud misconfiguration, or human error. — Associated Press

“A possible but far less likely outcome is an intentional malicious hack of ATT’s network, but the diffuse pattern of outages across the country suggests something more fundamental,” McKnight said in an emailed statement.

11:40 a.m. — Tens of thousands of AT&T wireless customers were unable to call 911 this morning due to widespread national outages in the company’s mobile network.

AT&T acknowledged the problem but isn’t talking about bill credits.

“Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning,” said the company at “Our network teams took immediate action and so far three-quarters of our network has been restored.”

The website Downdetector, which tracks tech-related outages, shows over 74,000 people reporting problems with their AT&T mobile network in the last 24 hours. Downdetector uses self-reported information so is merely a snapshot of an outage problem, but by 10:30 a.m., its reporting numbers had gone down to about 25,000.

Cities such as Petaluma and Palo Alto have issued alerts to their community about the problem, asking people with emergencies to call either an alternate number — (650) 321-4433 in Palo Alto and (707) 778-4326 in Petaluma — or use a landline to call 911.

In Redwood City and other communities, people are being asked to connect to Wi-Fi calling on their cellphones to call 911, or to use a landline. — Bay City News.