FCC Head Ajit Pai says T-Mobile outage ‘unacceptable’ vows investigation, ‘demanding answers’

The Federal Communications Commission head Ajit Pai promised to launch an investigation against T-Mobile after millions nationwide were affected by an outage that impacted 911 services.

“The T-Mobile network outage is unacceptable. The @FCC is launching an investigation. We’re demanding answers—and so are American consumers,” Pai tweeted after the hours-long outage Monday.

The company blamed an internet-traffic issue that caused problems with its network for the outage.

T-Mobile, one of the country’s three largest cellphone service providers, said it had a “voice and text wireless issue” that began around noon ET Monday. The company said at 1 a.m. Tuesday that all problems had been resolved.
“Our engineers worked through the night to understand the root cause of yesterday’s issues, address it and prevent it from happening again. The trigger event is known to be a leased fiber circuit failure from a third party provider in the Southeast,” the T-Mobile statement read.

“This is something that happens on every mobile network, so we’ve worked with our vendors to build redundancy and resiliency to make sure that these types of circuit failures don’t affect customers. This redundancy failed us and resulted in an overload situation that was then compounded by other factors. This overload resulted in an IP traffic storm that spread from the Southeast to create significant capacity issues across the IMS (IP multimedia Subsystem) core network that supports VoLTE calls.”
Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince last night tweeted that T-Mobile was “making some changes to their network configurations today. Unfortunately, it went badly. The result has been for around the last 6 hours a series of cascading failures for their users, impacting both their voice and data networks.” The T-Mobile problem was “almost certainly entirely of their own team’s making,” he also wrote.
Even local 911 services were interrupted.

Seminole County authorities and the city of Kissimmee said the outage impacted their 911 systems. The Seminole Sheriff’s Office urged callers to use their non-emergency line as a backup until the issue was resolved.

Orange County Sheriff’s officials said its 911 systems were not been affected and told residents in their area to continue to use the 911 line if necessary.

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