AT&T glitch preventing 911 calls is resolved

Posted at 10:11 PM, Mar 08, 2017


The Federal Communications Commission announced today the launch of an investigation into "the root cause" of an outage that prevented AT&T wireless customers in several states, including Florida, from connecting to 911.

Not all municipalities were aware of any issues caused by the outage. Some dispatch centers, including in Hillsborough County, say they were still successfully receiving calls from AT&T wireless customers through Wednesday evening. Pinellas County dispatch administrators also say they are not aware they were affected, and point out it would be the cell phone providers who can't reach them, not a problem with the dispatch center itself.

Other dispatch centers, like at the Plant City Police Department, were affected. Sgt. Alfred Van Duyne of the Plant City Police Department says the outage, for them, lasted about 45 minutes.

To warn local residents, Plant City Police put out a "media alert" to local news organizations, and posted the alert on social media as well as well as sharing their non-emergency number as a way to contact authorities. It's been an especially busy time in Plant City because of the ongoing Strawberry Festival, but no major issues are believed to have happened during the outage, says Sgt. Van Duyne.

A spokesperson for AT&T tells ABC Action News that the company isn't yet ready to say how many customers were affected in the Tampa Bay Area, and not yet ready to announce what the cause of the outage might have been.

Customers are encouraged to have the non-emergency number available for their local emergency services in case another outage happens.


Within an hour of AT&T tweeting that they were aware of the issue that was affecting some calls to 911 for wireless customers they tweeted that the issued had been resolved. 

The cause of the issue has not been released.


A phone system glitch has caused 911 to be unavailable for AT&T cellular customers across the nation Wednesday evening.

In a tweet, AT&T stated they were aware of the issue that was affecting some calls to 911 for wireless customers.

The cause of the issue has not been released.

Hillsborough AT&T cellular customers needing to report an emergency should call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 813-247-8200 until the issue is resolved.

All other Tampa Bay area residents who are not able to contact 911 via their AT&T cellphone are also encouraged to contact their nearest police department at the non-emergency number.

We contacted AT&T and they released the following statement:

"We are aware of a service issue affecting some calls to 911 for wireless customers and we are working to resolve it as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience."



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