Some customers of U.S. wireless carrier AT&T were unable to use their cell phones to dial 911 emergency dispatchers in their area for a time on Wednesday, a problem the company later said
has been resolved.
The second-biggest wireless carrier in the United States said service had been restored after what public safety agencies called a nationwide outage affecting the company's cell phone customers.
"Service has been restored for wireless customers affected by an issue connecting to 911," a representative for the company said in an email statement. "We apologize to those affected."
Earlier on Wednesday evening, public safety agencies across the country said in alerts that AT&T mobile phone customers nationwide were unable to reach 911 emergency dispatchers.
"AT&T is experiencing a nationwide outage which is affecting 911 calls," authorities in Washington, D.C., said in an email alert.
At 7:40 p.m. EST, there was an increase of AT&T mobile phone customers reporting an outage or problem with their service, according to Outage.Report, a website that tracks cell and internet outages in the United States.
In a message typical of alerts by other public safety agencies across the country, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office in Florida posted its regular 10-digit phone number on Twitter and asked residents to dial that number in an emergency.
AT&T had about 135 million wireless subscribers in the United States by Dec. 31, 2016, according to a company filing.
Federal Communications Commission officials did not immediately return an email from Reuters seeking comment.