AT&T internet service in Dallas has experienced a widespread outage starting from 10 a.m. Monday after a fire occurred at one of their facilities. Down Detector report shows that the internet service has been interrupted in the regions from Fort Worth to Garland to Dallas to Frisco. As soon as the outage occurred, AT&T team quickly update their Twitter account with the status of the restoration progress.
Before the outage occurred, there was a heavy rain with lightning. It was thought that the lightning hit the facility and caused the fire. The fire crew came and left at 12:15 pm. Curtis Poovey, the Fire Chief of Richardson fire department said the outage was not caused by the lightning strike. He commented that they still could not determine the reason why the wiring in the electrical room caught fire.
Customers are still experiencing outage at 9 pm on Monday. AT&T team replied hat they are not equipped with ETA. Customers with internet and cable reported that the internet service was back at around 9:30 pm. About 10 minutes later, sporadic customers reported that the internet is back but they still couldn’t access internet on their phones.
Fortunately, at 10:30 pm, the internet service was restored. Many customers are unhappy about the outage and demanded that AT&T provide some sorts of compensations. Many who filed the complaints rely on internet to work at home. The outage also affected internet phone system of businesses who use AT&T business internet plan.
The outage caused the AT&T customer telephone support line and Twitter account to be flooded with complaints. One customer who was angry demanded refund for his phone data as he was forced to convert his phone into a Wi-Fi spot when the outage occurs. AT&T did not reveal the number of customers that are affected by the internet outage on Monday.
They also did not comment whether they will be providing any compensation for customers. Charles Bassett, the spokesman for AT&T, said that customers who are not satisfied can talk to the customer care team. Some people remarked that the outage coverage could be limited if there is a backup plan in place.
Scott Kingsley, the program director for telecommunications and network engineering graduate program at the Southern Methodist University, said that facility of big internet and cable company like AT&T should have battery and diesel generators in place. However, he believes that no electricity can pass through if the wiring is burned.
It seems that the Richardson switching station is the station where all U verse services are routed. What surprises Kingsley is that they did not reroute the customers when damage occured at the Richardson station. However, he said that there is no need for every company to make such preparation in their facilities because redundancy can occur all the times.
On Tuesday morning, people are still circulating the hostile and humorous messages on Twitter. Many of the social media messages are tagged with the #attoutage hashtag. Some people are still experiencing internet connection problems but it is on a smaller scale now.