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AT&T Problem to Blame for Southeast U.S. Cellular Outages

All four major carriers rely on AT&T's landline network for so-called backhaul, so its problems are affecting everyone.

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A problem with AT&T’s landline network is the cause for service issues in the Southeastern U.S. that are affecting all four major wireless networks, several telecommunications industry sources told Re/code.

The issue is affecting customers in parts of Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and Indiana.

AT&T is the dominant landline provider for the region, and all the major cellular providers use its networks for backhaul — that is, helping transport the data once it leaves their collection of cellular towers.

For its part, AT&T has said its “engineers have pinpointed a hardware-related issue and are working to restore service as quickly as possible.”

Cellular service should resume quickly once the AT&T issue is resolved, the industry sources said.

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