FCC Chairman launching investigation into ‘unacceptable’ T-Mobile network outage

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T-Mobile suffered a major nationwide outage today that’s still affecting some customers hours after it began. And now the FCC Chairman says he’s going to look into what’s happened.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced tonight that the FCC is launching an investigation into today’s T-Mobile network outage. “The T-Mobile network outage is unacceptable,” Pai tweeted. “The FCC is launching an investigation. We’re demanding answers — and so are American consumers.”

None of the other FCC commissioners have commented on the T-Mobile outage.

It appears that T-Mobile customers began having network issues around 10:00 am PT today and more reports of problems came in as the hours went by. T-Mobile acknowledged that there was a “widespread routing issue affecting voice and text” that its engineers were working to fix, but as of this post there’s still been no official announcement that services are back to normal or a more detailed explanation about what happened.

Scanning reports on social media, it looks like some T-Mobile customers are starting to regain calling and texting capabilities, but there are still plenty of reports of folks who say they’re still without service. How is the T-Mobile network in your part of the country?

Source: Ajit Pai (Twitter)

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  • TheTruthIsOutThere

    Ajit Pai still works for Verizon.

  • Tale Danis

    You know, where the hell is this kind of ‘outrage’ and ‘investigation’ with cable internet providers when they go down?

  • Limeybastard

    You know the FCC Ejit Pai is a fraud when he comes out like this.

  • Bilesha Welton

    Well whatever. Their political stance already has me switching, but this sounds like another nothing burger to me

    • Mike Smith

      They’re on the right side of history. Bigots never win.

    • slybacon

      Go ahead and switch. It frees up more network for the rest of us!!!

      • AA-Ron

        Amen brother

    • dcmanryan

      I hope you don’t own an iPhone then.

  • JG

    FCC Chairman launching investigation into ‘unacceptable’ T-Mobile network outage

    Uh-oh… Sounds like T-Mobile forgot to contribute to Pai’s re-appointment campaign…

  • InTheMuff

    Unacceptable?
    Sh!t happens man.
    It should matter how fast they responded

    • Joe

      Actually it is quite unacceptable depending on what caused it and why. You know some people lost business or interviews because of this.

      • InTheMuff

        If you expect networks to run flawlessly without ever a hitch you need to lower those expectations

        • Joe

          From what is looks like it may truly been a mistake on t-mobiles side as they are working on the sprint merger that caused the outage. Which since it had an effect on other providers and other services that are not T-mobile it makes sense that the fcc would look into it.

        • Shaun Michalak

          But we will not know that until they give us an answer.. Until then, it is all speculation.

        • JStatt

          Those working on the 5G deployment were given an early flag that T-Mobile expected disruption. They didn’t expect the disruption to be as dramatic as it was, but it is IS unacceptable that they wouldn’t give their customers an equivalent “heads up”. They are now paying the reputational cost of that decision.

        • Mike Smith

          When you’re doing something that’s never been done the unexpected can happen.

      • slybacon

        So how are you going to move forward with your life if you can’t accept it? Seems like childsplay to worry about this longer than it occurred.

  • Wayne Hoover

    It might be related to the T-Mobile Sprint merger and the switching 5G on nationwide.

    Posted by a T-Mobile customer since 2003.

    • Joe

      I don’t know about that, I am not convinced that it has anything to do with the sprint network merge but it could.

      • Shaun Michalak

        I agree.. Especially considering that I saw reports from people on Verizon saying that they were having problems too.. Not only that, but the down site that people report outages on.. Well, all 4 carriers, looking at T-Mobile and Sprint as separate, all had maps from yesterday that all looked almost exactly alike..

        • Joe

          I am pretty sure the reason why others were reporting the same issue is because they were calling T-mobile users from another network hence they would have problems. Word is that ATT had actual problems too and Verizon was fine (My dads work phones worked fine making calls to other Verizon phones. All speculation at the moment.

        • JG

          According to Verizon’s response, their network was operating at 100%. The Is It Down website reports were either coming from a super small, statistically insignificant number of users or was likely inaccurate (aka FAKE NEWS!!!)

          Some probably came from individuals attempting to contact individuals on Tmo. But I don’t know if all of the reports would be. And it doesn’t seem likely that people would randomly report Verizon down as well, just for the lolz. What would they have to gain making Verizon look like it’s having trouble? Even in nothing to do lockdown, I still had more to do than reporting services down when they weren’t.

        • Shaun Michalak

          What I find kind of Ironic about that statement is.. I have seen times that Verizon was down, but not T-Mobile, and there was a HUGE difference between the 2 maps of where the outages were.. Yet if T-Mobile goes down, and as you say, Verizon does not, the maps are the same because they can not contact T-Mobile customers.. I guess that says a lot about Verizon customers (if that be true) if they report outages because they can not reach a T-Mobile customer, but the T-Mobile customer does not report it because Verizon is down..

      • JStatt

        Work in telecom assisting with 5G towers. T-Mobile communicated early that they expected disruption yesterday. I’m sure they did NOT expect such a vast disruption as what they got, but this definitely wasn’t innocent. They knew moving this quickly was going to cause issues and they didn’t care. It’s the good with the bad. They have been successful rapidly expanding precisely because they aren’t afraid to move quickly.

  • Joss Edbrards

    Ajit Pai is a Verizon stooge. I wished the FCC had the same diligence towards net neutrality, the cable industry’s monopoly, other telcos major outages and other matters.

    Yes, it should investigate the reasons for the outage, but also they should be diligent in other matters as well.

    And if you expect networks to work flawlessly all the time, you are living in Dreamland.

    • marque2

      Net neutrality was moronic. It was a play by Google to get services for free at the cost to everyone else. But they (Google) made it sound so woke, all the millennials swooned over it.

      • Joss Edbrards

        Not really, but I learned a long time ago not to argue with strangers on the Internet. Good day!

        • Yardie D

          Good move. They usually just bring you down to their level and beat you with experience, especially the non mask wearing type.

        • Joss Edbrards

          So true.

        • marque2

          It’s nice that you listen to you mom about stranger danger. But at some point you need to face the world.

  • Adam Thodey

    Without knowing any of the details from T-mobile as to why the network went down or what hardware or software was involved, it is plausible this was a cyber-attack on T-mobile and parts of the mobile phone infrastructure. it is also possible there was a firmware update or software update that had an uncaught bug that caused this widespread outage. We won’t know until the T-mobile investigation is complete.

    It is a matter of how fast a company catches something like this, provide communications to its customers and the public and start working the issue – including determining what caused it so they can ensure it doesn’t happen again.

  • Eric A

    Ajit Pai is primarily “concerned” because most of the outage was in Trump country.

    • Industrialist Machinist

      Surprised you didn’t blame it on the Russians. Baby steps I guess, will make it easier for you to scream at the sky come November.

      • Eric A

        I didn’t blame it on anybody. I might have if the outage affected Moscow but it’s in the USA South and Southeast. Look at a map.

        • Industrialist Machinist

          I’ll read a map when you never-trumper boomers stop believing everything the media tells you.

      • marque2

        Russians was two fake conspiracies ago. Next came Ukraine and now it is the Chinese who helped Trump win the election.

    • riverhorse

      Still using 2016 stats?!? Keep reading fake polls. In 2020, pre-Covid, the only remaining non-Trump states were the Left Coast, Illinois, and maybe a handful elsewhere. But post-blm i doubt it… Certainly not post-debates.
      Although that assumes Hil won’t Epstein the basement dweller before then.

      • Andrew

        So… the highly educated areas. There’s a reason lol.

        • riverhorse

          Fake education “in large part”. Worthless liberal arts degrees or 6-12 month courses stretched out into 4 or more years @ 80-100k per year, taught by Commie professors with bad credit from going bankrupt with their failed businesses. For the most part… There are some exceptions.

        • Andrew

          Where are you getting that information from? Do you have any legitimate sources to back up your claims? It’s unfortunate that you’ve made assumptions like that about people just to make yourself feel more powerful, but I’m not surprised.

        • riverhorse

          Open your eyes. And try to disagree in a civil manner.

  • Surf Rider 11

    Bill credits to those areas affected T-Mobile.

    • slybacon

      “You get 1/30th credit on your bill.” haha. Not worth my time to pursue.

      • Willie D

        If just a fraction of customers ask for a credit it adds up to a LOT. That really makes TMo look as bad as they really are. A few minutes just to add more hassle to them after they hassled me is worth it, but then again Im also a sadistic a-hole that will do it on principle rather than trying to actually get a comeup. For me its more about, holding them accountable. Cant tout your wonderful fast well data connected network, especially since you now have a ton of spectrum AND a 2nd backup network *Sprint* and how glorious this merger is and then have a major outage where the company chose not to allow customers to access the other network they own, or reroute traffic through working data lines and think its okay, oh no, I want to call your a$$ out on it and make someone spend a few minutes inconvenienced by my request for a small credit due to your negligence.

        • JG

          As to using Sprint as a backup… I suppose it’s possible. But it’s still very early in the merger. And the intent is to move Sprint customers (and spectrum) to the TMo network, not the other way around.

          Our phones wouldn’t know Sprint towers are usable in that fashion. Depending on the outage it might have taken longer to implement a fall back than it would to actually fix the problem. And, again, depending on the outage, if the update channel is down to, it might not have been possible to push the update out to everyone in a timely manner.

          Though now that the issue has been resolved…. Since they’ve allowed Sprint customers access to the TMo network, maybe they should set an intern or two up with the task of enabling TMo customers access to the Sprint network to, just in case…

      • JG

        Or actually a little more than 1/60th. The outage lasted for 13 hours, just over half a day.

  • Android_God

    Is he helping his buddies at Verizon by doing this?

  • Mike Smith

    I hate this guy.

  • Ran the T-mo corporate statement through the de-Bulls****r:

    Starting just after 12 pm ET and continuing throughout the day, T-Mobile completely f****d up a network upgrade, which has in turn caused endless headaches and “disruption” for not only our customers butmillions of people trying to contact them. We are gradually unf*****g this mess after spending hours cluelessly floundering while not saying a
    word to anyone until we were sure it would not miraculously fix itself and/or maybe no one would notice, since we’re not a real cell phone company. ETA on restoration of services:
    who the he11 knows. Neville Ray, some PR flack we hired to make it sound like we’re the real victims here, has shared updates throughout the day that say nothing and help no one, but I, a massively overpaid sociopath, wanted to share the latest on what we’ve
    decided we can’t get away with hiding from you, at least in adulterated-to-the-point-of-fiction form, and what we’re doing to address it, which is more along the lines of “thoughts and prayers”. This is an IP traffic related issue (whoa, very technical, almost sounds
    like we didn’t cause this ourselves) that has completely f****d up our network throughout the day…as though this is something that can reasonably just happen after 30 years of mainstream Internet adoption. Data services have been “working” throughout the day–I mean, at the usual low level you’d expect from us–and customers have been using
    services like FaceTime, iMessage, Google Meet, Google Duo, Zoom, Skype and others to connect, seeing as how the service we charge you for has utterly s**t itself and is of no use to anyone.

    I can assure you that we have hundreds of our dumba$$ H-1B engineers and offshored contract peons rebooting everything they can get their hands on in hopes that this will solve something, while spewing barely coherent technical jargon to visibly moronic stateside executives. Some dumba$$es who drew the short straw and/or are listed in a font too small for human eyes to read on the org chart will be working through the night playing Solitaire and Candy Crush as needed to get the network fully operational. I will be doing even more blow.

    By the way, we’re merging with Sprint soon, the only other cell company we could find that is even more poorly managed than we are. Also, we have a huge banner about blacks on our home page, in case you’reinterested.

    Mike Sievert
    CEO, A$$hole

  • riverhorse

    I hope he investigates the other majors too- all suffered outages and other problems. Granted, the other two not as severe- but all my lines across all three had hiccups here and there.

  • AstroCud

    Needs to investigate every “unacceptable” decision he’s made as FCC Chairman.

  • stacks3000

    This picture makes him look like he sniffs AHs for fun.