AT&T Outage in Moscow and Region

Tuesday, 6:00 a.m.
UPDATE: Multiple AT&T users in Moscow and the region reporting their service is back up! Thank you to all the crews that worked through the night to restore service!

Do you have an AT&T cell phone? You have probably noticed that you can’t make calls by now!

Nathan Anderson of First Step Internet explained what probably happened. We will update this article as we get more information.

Monday, 6:30 p.m.

There is a Spokane-area fiber cut that seems to have impacted a handful of different things in the region. This happened at around 10:30 am this morning. On my employer’s network, the only thing that took a hit was a circuit of ours out in Orofino; other than that we are up, and we’ve failed that traffic over to a different path.

I’d have to guess that the AT&T outage is related, just given that it would be too much of a coincidence for there to be multiple major fiber cuts in the area. Not all AT&T towers in the area are down, though: if I drive between Moscow and Pullman, I have service along the highway between the Airport Rd and Terre View Dr turn-offs. But once in either Moscow or Pullman proper, service disappears.

We have been told that repair delays have been due to the fact that a semi took down not only the fiber but some power lines along with it, and so the power company had to finish their repairs first and confirm the area to be safe for other crews.

Here is a picture we were sent of the actual accident. 

We were told that the fiber crews had been told to expect to not be able to start their work until roughly about 5 pm. As you can see, the semi-truck managed to tear down an entire utility pole.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Even if your own cell provider’s service is down, it may still be possible to dial 911 from your phone. If your phone happens to be compatible at all with a competing service provider’s tower, that tower will allow your phone to connect to it in order to place an emergency call.

If your phone says “No service” then it may not be in range of any other towers, but if it says “Emergency calls only”, you should be able to place a 911 call, even if your phone shows zero bars.

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