Outages at AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile Spark Speculation

(LibertySons.org) – The White House is launching an investigation after three major cell phone networks dropped out on the same day. AT&T says a software issue caused problems with their service, but that hasn’t stopped some from speculating that solar flares or even an EMP attack might have been responsible. Tens of thousands of users were affected by the issues.

Cell Networks Suddenly Fail

Around 4 am Eastern on February 22, thousands of AT&T customers started to report issues with their cell phone services. By late that morning 74,000 people were affected. Some Verizon and T-Mobile customers also reported faults, although both those companies said their services were working. They said the issues were probably caused by customers trying to connect to users on “another network” –- meaning AT&T.

Meanwhile, AT&T spent the day working to fix the problem. And by 2 pm Eastern less than 5,000 people still had problems. By 5 pm, service had been fully restored. The company says an “incorrect process” as they tried to expand their network caused the problem and denied it had been the victim of a cyber attack. However, this explanation hasn’t satisfied everyone –- and some off-the-wall causes have been suggested.

Around the same time as the outages began, two powerful solar flares were sighted. Solar flares happen when disruptions in the Sun’s magnetic field cause eruptions of electromagnetic radiation. These flares have enough energy that they can disrupt or even damage electrical systems on Earth, 93 million miles away, and many blamed them for AT&T’s issues.

However, Dr Ryan French at the National Solar Observatory pointed out that solar flares can only cause problems on the day side of the planet –- the one that’s facing the Sun –- and AT&T’s network went down long before dawn.

Others suspected a more sinister cause –- an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. A nuclear weapon detonated at a high altitude, usually around 250 miles up, can cause an EMP effect over a large area, damaging or destroying unshielded electronics and disrupting radio communications.

An EMP wouldn’t just have taken down AT&T’s network, though. It would have affected everything electronic inside the area it affected. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and media personality Glenn Beck chimed in to reassure people that EMP wasn’t responsible for the issues.

Government Investigates

Following the outage, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said its safety and security division would investigate the incident. Under FCC rules, network providers have to provide information on outages. AT&T could also possibly face fines over disruptions to the 911 system, which was unavailable to some customers.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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