T-Mobile’s Wireless Outage Will Be Investigated by FCC

On Monday, thousands of wireless customers across the country reported disruptions in service. Down Detector confirmed the outage with over 93,000 reports from T-Mobile customers.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai commented on the outage on Twitter Monday night, saying “The T-Mobile network outage is unacceptable. The @FCC is launching an investigation. We’re demanding answers—and so are American consumers.”

Neville Ray, T-Mobile President of Technology wrote a blog post Tuesday, saying that T-Mobile has a responsibility to keep customers connected and “Yesterday, we didn’t meet our own bar for excellence.”

Ray went on to explain how the outage started. “The trigger event is known to be a leased fiber circuit failure from a third party provider in the Southeast. 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.”

The problem was resolved by 1 am ET, 13 hours after the outage was first reported.

We’ll have to wait and see if Pai and the FCC will actually investigate and take any action in response to the outage. As Ars Technica points out, Pai typically has “an extremely hands-off approach to regulating telecom companies.”

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