FCC to Investigate T-Mobile Outage

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will examine a widespread T-Mobile outage that affected individuals throughout the United States Monday, according to its chairman. Customers became concerned when their messages and calls stopped connecting, though the service has been restored.

On Monday night, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai tweeted “The T-Mobile network outage is unacceptable. The @FCC is launching an investigation. We’re demanding answers—and so are American consumers.” The same day, T-Mobile President of Technology Neville Ray also announced that the company’s text and voice services had been restored.

The cause of the outage remain unclear, although T-Mobile explained Tuesday morning it was an “IP traffic related issue that has created significant capacity issues in the network core throughout the day,” according to The Verge. Rumors arose throughout social media that the outages were signs of a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack throughout the United States. Cybersecurity researcher Brian Krebs believes that the outages were not part of a DDoS attack, tweeting, “I have found no indication these outages are DDoS related. Rather, there may be Sprint/T-Mobile issues related to a wonky update in the systems from the Sprint side to help merge with T-Mobile.”

T-Mobile and Sprint finalized their $23 billion merger in April after a long legal battle, a move that was backed by Pai in 2018. According to Reuters, the chairman said the move “would lead to improved 5G coverage in the United States and would bring much faster mobile broadband to rural Americans.”