AT&T CEO Addresses Network Outage, Promises Compensation to Customers

In a recent development, AT&T, renowned for having North America’s largest wireless network and the nation’s largest and fastest-growing fiber network, has disclosed the causes behind the network outage experienced on February 22.
AT&T pioneers $14bn Open RAN investment with EricssonJohn Stankey, the CEO of AT&T, conveyed the details in a letter addressed to employees regarding the resolved network disruption that transpired on February 22, describing Thursday as a challenging day for the company.

AT&T has revealed that the outage was due to the application and execution of an incorrect process used while working to expand the network.

“Our review of the cause of Thursday’s outage indicates it was due to the application and execution of an incorrect process used while working to expand our network. We are investing billions to grow our network and deliver an even more exceptional customer experience,” John Stankey said.

The outage commenced in the early hours of Thursday, with approximately three-quarters of customers being able to access the mobile network as they initiated their day around 5 a.m. CT. AT&T took swift action to prioritize the restoration of FirstNet service, aligning with its commitment to the nation’s first responders. The remaining customers were gradually reconnected throughout the morning.

Various teams within AT&T, spanning from retail and call centers to product, marketing, communications, and technology, collaborated tirelessly to normalize the network by approximately noon CT.

In a gesture to address the inconvenience faced by the most impacted portion of consumer and small business customers, AT&T announced that it would automatically apply an account credit to compensate them. Prepaid customers impacted by the outage will also be provided with options. Furthermore, AT&T is actively engaging with Mid-Market and Enterprise customers to address their concerns.

“Crediting those customers for essentially a full day of service is the right thing to do. Despite the impact on the business, this approach is manageable while achieving the 2024 business objectives we have set for ourselves and our stated financial guidance,” John Stankey said.

Reflecting on the incident, John Stankey acknowledged the inevitability of network outages in their line of work. However, he emphasized the significance of AT&T’s response, adaptation, and continuous improvement to uphold the service standards expected by their customers.

“This is not our first network outage, and it won’t be our last – unfortunately, it’s the reality of our business. What matters most is how we react, adapt, and improve to deliver the service our customers need and expect,” John Stankey said.