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AT&T Nationwide Outage: Analysts Blame Software Glitch for Service Disruption

SHEPHERD: Was your phone working today? For tens of thousands of AT&T users across the US, services were down. 

But how did this happen? Analysts say faults in software updates are the cause of this nationwide outage. Analyst Roger Entner says these glitches happen all the time. Tommaso Baronio reports.

ENTNER: It brings down the network. It takes about 6 to 8 hours to fix this, and then it works just fine again. Wireless networks have become like computers and are being run by computers. And sometimes you have these glitches.

BARONIO: I asked Entner what this nationwide outage meant for users.

ENTNER 2: people couldn't call each other and 911 was not or only minimally impacted. And, you know, a little bit this afternoon, everybody will be fine again.

BARONIO: AT&T released an announcement today saying they were fixing the issue. Entner says these issues impact networks all the time. 

ENTNER: This happened to the other carriers, too. And, it's annoying, but it doesn’t have a big impact. 

BARONIO: He says this may happen again in the future but users will still pay the carriers. 

ENTNER: when this has happened to other carriers. We have not seen an impact of, you know, people leaving or anything out of the ordinary. This is a ripple, not a wave.

BARONIO: If this is a problem that happens all the time will people be tempted to switch to another network?

ENTNER: people are annoyed, But I don't think the trust is impacted. Okay. Right. It's when your spouse is dropping a box of eggs, you might be annoyed that it happened, but you continue to trust your spouse.

BARONIO: But still, I wouldn’t want my marriage to be like the AT&T network.  Tommaso Baronio, Columbia Radio News. 

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