T-Mobile’s network suffered an outage across the U.S. yesterday, and the Federal Communications Commission is investigating. “The T-Mobile network outage is unacceptable. The @FCC is launching an investigation. We’re demanding answers — and so are American consumers,” tweeted FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Ars Technica reports: No matter what the investigation finds, Pai may be unlikely to punish T-Mobile or impose any enforceable commitments. For example, an FCC investigation last year into mobile carriers’ response to Hurricane Michael in Florida found that carriers failed to follow their own previous voluntary roaming commitments, unnecessarily prolonging outages. Pai himself called the carriers’ response to the hurricane “completely unacceptable,” just like he did with yesterday’s T-Mobile outage. But Pai’s FCC imposed no punishment related to the bad hurricane response and continued to rely on voluntary measures to prevent recurrences. T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert confirmed the outage in a blog post. “Starting just after 12pm ET and continuing throughout the day, T-Mobile has been experiencing a voice and text issue that has intermittently impacted customers in markets across the US,” Sievert wrote. Sievert reported that the “issues are now resolved” just after 1am ET, about 13 hours after the outage began.
The outage may have been self-inflicted when T-Mobile was making network configuration changes. 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. […] The T-Mobile outage was so large that it apparently caused some people to think other carriers and websites were down, too.
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