(Recasts, adds information from Outage.Report, no response from FCC, paragraphs 1-2, 6, 9)
March 8 (Reuters) - 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 (0040 GMT), 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. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles, Brendan O‘Brien in Milwaukee and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru,; Editing by Sandra Maler and Michael Perry)