Widespread cell service outage

UPDATE: Service is back! Most of us can use our cell phones now. For about five hours Tuesday, major cell phone networks did not work.

Local 6's Juliana Valencia said carriers have been vague about a cause, but the consensus is a “vendor issue.” AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile did not elaborate on what a vendor issue means.

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday only the Louisville area had network problems. A T-Mobile representative said they are in touch with that vendor regarding the source of the issue.

A region spokesperson for Verizon, said at around 8 p.m. Tuesday that the towers in western Kentucky were fully back up and functional.

As for AT&T, they still showed minor problems with service in western Kentucky around 10 p.m. Tuesday. An AT&T representative said they'd pinpointed a hardware-related issue and are working to restore it.

While service may be back, Tuesday was different without a working cell phone.

Cindy Gillingham and her friends meet every Tuesday for dinner at Los Amigos on Lone Oak Rd. When their cell phones stopped working, they had to rely on routine to see if anyone would show up.

“We couldn't text or call to see who's going to be here and who's not, and now that we are here we can’t check in [on Facebook] so no one knows we're here,” Gillingham said.

Darrin Tabor and some of his family didn't notice the lack of cell phones while they ate dinner across the street at City Rockers in Lone Oak.

"We didn't know anything about it, no," Tabor said.

 They have a rule, no cell phones at dinner, as a way to make sure they talk face to face about their day.

Overall Tuesday's outages seemed to only create minor inconveniences. However, it did create delays or small problems for 911 incoming calls for some counties.


Local 6 has talked with several major phone providers, and reporter Juliana Valencia has been told hundreds of cell phone towers are down 

 A T-Mobile tech representative told her the outage is considered a "market outage" because such a wide area is affected. T-Mobile's market for our area also includes the Louisville, Knoxville, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; and Birmingham, Alabama areas.

The representative said there are at least 474 LTE towers down. He said the work order doesn't show the cause of the problem, but that typically, with big issues like these, they get taken care of within a day.

Verizon told Valencia it is aware of the problem, and is working to minimize it, but could not say what the cause is. AT&T also responded, saying customers across parts of the southeast are experiencing wireline and wireless service issues. AT&T says it's investigating the cause and working as quickly as possible to restore service.  

McCracken County E-911 Manager Brent Stringer says you may experience a delay when calling 911  on a cell phone of about 20 seconds. He says lines are working and to just stay on the line. He encourages people to only call 911 if it's an emergency.

Due to wide spread communication outages, the Marshall County Sheriff's Office says it would like people to call 270-527-1333 if they need emergency police or medical assistance. 911 lines seem to be having widespread problems for that county. 


There is a widespread cell service outage. 

Major carriers in multiple states are affected. Shawn Turner with Turner communications tells Local 6 the outage is "major," affecting landlines and cell service and stretches "From Paducah, Louisville, Lexington, Huntsville, Bowling Green, Knoxville, Evansville, Nashville and beyond."

Turner says the outage is "really strange," and she will advise us when she knows more. 

We're working to find out what's causing it, and we'll bring you updates here as we get them. 

Related Articles

Kentucky man arrested after 17-hour standoff in Tennessee A Kentucky man has been arrested after a 17-hour standoff with police in Tennessee.
Gov. Rauner earned about $90M in 2016, paid $23M in taxes Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has released tax returns showing he earned about $90 million in 2016 and paid about $23 million in state and federal taxes.
Kentucky leaders reach deal on pension plans Kentucky's Republican leaders say they have agreed on how to change the state's struggling public pension system.
Big plans for old warehouse that could boost business in Murray With construction crews outside the Swann Warehouse for more than a year, managers say they can finally move forward with bigger renovations.