Weather Alert

Widespread Cell Outage Blamed on ‘IP Traffic Storm’

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 24: Pedestrians walk by a T-Mobile store on April 24, 2017 in San Francisco, California. T-Mobile will report first quarter earnings today after the closing bell. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The outage that left hundreds of thousands of cell phone users without service Monday was caused by a storm, a T-Mobile official says. Not a traditional storm — but an “IP Traffic Storm.

Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s president of technology, says the widespread outage occurred when a “leased fiber circuit from a third-party provider in the Southeast” became overloaded. The overtaxed circuits created what’s known as an “IP traffic storm,” which spreads capacity issues across the national network.

Many customers began experiencing problems Monday afternoon. Ray says the company finally got the issue fixed at 1 a.m. Tuesday. “Our engineers worked through the night to understand the root cause, address it and prevent it from happening again,” he says.

How much would your life change if all cell phones stopped working? What modern innovation has changed your life the most?

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