The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


The AT&T shut-down sends America into a panic

Boaz St. Omer

On February 22nd, many Americans’ day was affected, causing people to become frantic over their iPhones. The malfunction by a widely used network known as AT&T sent the public into panic as their iPhones displayed the SOS signal in the top right corner for the entirety of the day. 

The confusion that resulted from this caused many speculations about what went wrong, one of the allegations being a cyberattack. It was later confirmed that there was no cyber attack but an “…application and execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network.” Despite this clarity, anger from customers was very widespread, as over 70,000 users were unable to use their cellular devices for multiple hours. Approximately 10 hours later, the system was back up and running. 

Before the problem was solved, powers as large as the White House were engaged with the issue. Federal agencies were working with AT&T to figure out what the issue was, and whether or not it was as severe as a cyberattack. There was also concern that maybe the outage was associated with a construction based situation that may have cut off the system. However, it was revealed that it was a crash of the inside of the network. There was also worry that the outage would affect 911 signals, as this has happened in the past. In a few states, the mishap did end up affecting the 911 system ; victims included people who were calling for help, or the work of first responders (specifically their fire alarms experiencing problems). It also affected police officers’ phone calls on both ends of the line. However, an AT&T spokesperson explained that FirstNet, a service that allows for first responders and the police to have communication with the public, was still responsive.

After 11 hours of little-to-no cell phone service, it was finally restored around 3 P.M. The PPCHS campus, along with the rest of America, felt the effects of the shutdown. Throughout the whole day, conversation erupted about the issue amongst the students, with multiple expressing their annoyance towards the situation, especially since iPhones are used not only for entertainment but also educational purposes on the daily. Kyra Theodore, a sophomore, expressed, “that day I was really confused because I thought it was just my family having this problem, but then everyone started talking about it at school.” She continued with, “… I hope it never happens again.” Another student at PPCHS, Faizan Shah, a sophomore, explained, “I literally yelled at my phone to go faster.” He further explained that, “I couldn’t use my phone for anything but music, but when it finally started working again I was already on the bus to go home.” A wide majority of students were affected by the outage and still feel frustration.

Generally, despite the many speculations and difficulties that were presented on that day, the issue is now fixed. The network has decided to provide a small credit to customers who experienced issues with the system, and AT&T has promised to ensure that an event like this wouldn’t occur again.

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About the Contributors
Amanda Quintela
Amanda Quintela, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Amanda Quintela and this is my first year as a Staff Writer for the CHAT Newspaper. I love to read, listen to music, and do gymnastics. I am currently a sophomore and can’t wait to see what the newspaper has in store for me. You can reach me at [email protected].
Boaz St. Omer
Boaz St. Omer, Graphics Staff
Hello. My name is Boaz St. Omer. As of right now, I am in my junior year of high school and this is my first year in the CHAT. I’m not going to lie, at first I was a little bit hesitant in joining this class, but I am very interested in digital works and design. Now, I will be working with the graphics team this year. Contact me at [email protected] for any questions or ideas. Thank you!

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    JonathanMar 8, 2024 at 9:04 AM

    Oh I didn’t know that the AT&T outage sent an SOS signal at the top of their phone!