What Caused The AT&T Service Outages In Lake Charles, Louisiana
If you are an AT&T customer or work for a company that uses AT&T services, everything stopped. Even non-AT&T customers were affected. There was no internet. Cell phone users couldn't call, text or email. It was kinda eerie.
Around the time of the outage, my co-worker asked me around 9 am if my phone was working. I told him yes because I had just completed a phone call. He said, "I got no bars, and my phone won't call out." He then asked me to try and call him, and when I did, I only got his voicemail. Around that same time, we realized that our computers had no internet service. Talk about a nightmare! Little did we know how HUGE the nightmare was nor how widespread.
So what happened? According to AT&T, the massive outage was caused when fibers were cut due to the violent storms and tornados that bared down on most of the state Tuesday and Wednesday. On the AT&T DownDetector page, one customer commented there were multiple fiber cuts at roughly 156 mobile towers in Louisiana. AT&T was noted across the state from SWLA, up North in Shreveport, and the other Southeast of Baton Rouge.
However, based on customer comments, it appears there have been AT& T outages reported across the U.S. over the last few days! It's unclear if this is related to severe weather. The good news is that most of the service has been restored here in Louisiana. Per AT&T, the remaining customers experiencing outages should see restoration to their services by the end of Friday, December 16.
Thursday's service interruption had an incredible impact on hospitals, businesses, schools and universities, TV stations like KPLC and the American Press to police and sheriff's departments. Communication was cut-off everywhere! It's scary to think of how much society depends on the internet and cell phones. Instead of bars, cell phone users had a weird SOS symbol where 5G was supposed to be. Even credit card machines stopped working, and customers had to pay cash or leave a card on file to make purchases, make transactions or pay bills.
KPLC TV reports that AT&T said Thursday morning that two fiber cables were damaged by severe weather but later changed that explanation. The communication giant updated the information stating that one cable was pulled down by a passing truck and the other was cut by a contractor who was digging. An AT&T spokesperson confirmed with 7 News:
“Our technicians are working as quickly as possible to repair two fiber cable cuts affecting wireless and internet service for some customers in the Lake Charles area,” the spokesperson said this morning. “One cut occurred when a cable was pulled down by a passing truck. The other cut occurred by a third-party contractor digging in the area. We apologize for the inconvenience and are doing our best to restore service.”