AT&T aims to fully restore service Sunday night

Business

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (NewsNation Now) — AT&T says it’s making progress in its round-the-clock efforts to restore service cut off by the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville.

The company suffered widespread outages in Tennessee and other states after a bomb in a recreational vehicle exploded near one of its facilities in downtown Nashville.

CEO Jeff McElfresh said in a statement that 96% of its wireless service has been restored, along with 60% of AT&T’s business services and 86% of the company’s consumer broadband and entertainment services. He says the company’s goal is to restore all service by late Sunday.

The facility in question was significantly damaged by the blast and then incurred fire and water damage that took out a number of backup power generators. Service was disrupted across parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama.

Authorities say they believe the man responsible for planting the bomb in the vehicle died in the blast. He was identified as 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner.

Many AT&T customers have taken to social media to voice their displeasure and inconvenience with the delay in restoring service to many areas affected by an outage caused by the explosion in downtown Nashville on Christmas morning.

Nashville Fire Chief William Swann said AT&T “restored mobile services Saturday night” at a press conference Sunday morning.

The company says significant progress was made in a statement Sunday. Read the statement in its entirety:

Power was restored to 4 floors of the building. So far, more than 65% of mobility sites affected by the explosion on Friday have been restored. Yesterday, more than three feet of water was pumped out of the building’s basement, but access to the lower floors of the building is still limited.

Teams are working to safely bring additional equipment online and reroute services through other facilities in the region. While mobility services have been restored in many areas, we still have more than 17 portable cell sites on the air to aid in communication, including for restoration teams and first responders. We are bringing in additional resources to support the recovery of wireline voice and data services and expect to have a fleet of 24 additional trailers of disaster recovery equipment on site by the end of the day.

Today our teams are working on adding additional cabling and more generators to provide more power into the building for our equipment and the restoration efforts.  We continue to assess the damage to the facility and have confirmed that the building’s commercial power connections are damaged and offline. We are working with the local power utility on repairs. In addition, there is other significant damage to the building from the blast, including to the elevators, some beams/columns, and the building’s facade.

AT&T

AT&T said it has been responding to customers asking them to please be patient while they work to restore service. The company said Saturday it is working to bring in crews from all over the country and additional equipment to get service temporarily restored until service can be permanently restored, but challenges remain.

At our facility, the focus of the restoration continues to be getting power to the equipment in a safe and secure way.  Challenges remain, including a fire which reignited overnight and led to the evacuation of the building.  Currently, our teams are on site working with safety and structural engineers. They have drilled access holes into the building and are attempting to reconnect power to critical equipment. Technical teams are also working as quickly as possible on rerouting additional services to other facilities in the region to restore service.

AT&T

The service outage has affected 911 emergency systems, hospital systems, and has reportedly caused issues with other systems such as ATMs and card readers.

The issues are affecting a broad spectrum of not just AT&T services but also T-Mobile services in several southeast and Midsouth metropolitan areas including telephone, internet, and television service.

“We are in contact with law enforcement & working as quickly as possible to restore service for some customers in Nashville & surrounding areas. This is due to damage to our facilities from the explosion. We appreciate your patience,” AT&T replied to a customer on Twitter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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