Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

T-Mobile's outages today were so bad that it briefly seemed like society had collapsed

F♯ A♯ ∞
F♯ A♯ ∞
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Earlier today, T-Mobile started suffering some network outages that were so widespread that people started to believe that the country’s entire cellphone infrastructure had collapsed. To make matters worse, this coincided with a spike in user reports that Facebook Messenger and Instagram were also down, leading users on Twitter (the last resort for communicating with people) to assume that society was—at best—on the verge of collapse. Others jumped in to try and deduce which nefarious entity was powerful and well-organized enough to orchestrate to topple the internet itself. Was it Russia? Antifa super-soldiers? The Legion Of Doom? It’s still unclear, but what we do know is that the apocalypse is happening and it’s time to be as dramatic as possible!!!!

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But seriously, though, it seems like it’s just T-Mobile. According to The Verge, both AT&T and Verizon have said they’re “operating normally” and “performing well” (respectively), while T-Mobile has confirmed that it’s fixing a “voice and data issue.” The Verge also notes that Sprint (which is now owned by T-Mobile) and US Cellular were both having issues as well, but the story points out that it would make sense for “what appears to be a multi-network outage” to actually come from just one wireless carrier, since people having issues don’t necessarily know which carrier the person they’re trying to call is on. Verizon’s statement even implies this, noting that “another carrier is having network issues” and that “calls to and from that carrier may receive an error message.”

So let’s be clear: Things right now are awful for various reasons, but the systematic destruction of the services we use to communicate with each other does not seem to be one of them. That being said, this is definitely going to happen for real at some point, and we all need to remember to memorize some kind of internet content so we can pass it on to future generations like in Fahrenheit 451. We’re calling dibs on this story, so you have to pick something else.

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