October 5, 2018
Cell phone networks across the Pacific Northwest were hit by a mysterious disruption this morning minutes after the inaugural “presidential alert” — although at least one cellphone provider insists the two events were not related.
For several hours Wednesday, subscribers with several networks, notably AT&T and T-Mobile, reported being unable to download data or use their apps soon after the text alert, which was sent at 11:18 a.m. Pacific Time.
“The presidential text alert went out and after that I lost all internet, Gmail, apps — everything stopped working,” said Sarah Mendivel, a medical researcher at Seattle Children’s Hospital. When Mendivel finally got through to AT&T, she was told “they didn’t know what it was,” she said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.
Soon after the outage, both T-Mobile and AT&T reported being aware of the outages but did not know why they had occurred or when service would be fully restored, according to online news accounts. But by 5:30, AT&T was reporting the problem had been addressed.
This article was posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 at 7:35 am