April 25, 2024

AT&T disrupted flights due to the downtown Nashville explosion

Flights resumed at Nashville International Airport about an hour later, but connectivity problems persisted in Tennessee and other parts of the region Friday evening. Some areas have reported disturbances to the 911 systems.

AT&T confirmed that one of its network hubs was damaged in the Christmas blast.

As night falls in Nashville, AT&T spokesman Jim Greer said, “We are continuing to work to restore service to customers in Nashville and surrounding areas who have been affected by this morning’s explosion.”

“We have mobilized additional resources, including our national disaster recovery team, and are bringing in several portable cell sites to assist in the recovery effort,” Jarir added.

T-Mobile said it was experiencing some service issues due to the explosion but was working “very hard with our partners” on the restoration.

According to a tweet from Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray, the carrier has been experiencing service issues in areas of Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee, parts of Louisville, Kentucky, Birmingham and Alabama, and in metropolitan Atlanta areas.

Earlier in the day, AT&T confirmed that the company is “in contact with law enforcement authorities and is working as quickly and safely as possible to restore service.”

When a network hub fails, usually due to a hurricane or other natural disaster, some, but not all, of your Internet traffic can be redirected.

That’s why customers throughout Nashville and other parts of Tennessee are reporting a loss of wireless phone service and other communications.

Grid hubs rely on commercial power with backup batteries and alternators. Damage to the facility may have affected these systems and caused deterioration of service later Friday.

“Energy is essential to restore telecommunications, and we are working with law enforcement to gain access to our devices and make the necessary repairs.” AT&T said Friday night.

AT&T deploys mobile cell towers in Nashville to support law enforcement and improve wireless service. WarnerMedia, the parent company of CNN, is owned by AT&T.

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The disruption at the network hub in the city center had ripple effects at the airport and elsewhere.

Nashville International Airport said communications issues linked to the explosion caused the Federal Aviation Administration to briefly halt flights from Nashville.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the ground station lifted after about an hour. “The pilots have not lost contact with air traffic control,” the agency said in a statement.

The FAA website states that the ground stop was triggered by a ZME frequency outage.

ZME is an FAA air traffic control facility in Memphis that is responsible for controlling aircraft in the area at higher altitudes.

A tweet from the airport at around 3:30 pm Cairo time said that the flight service at Nashville International Airport “continues to be affected by communications issues.”

On Friday evening, the airport said in a tweet on Twitter that “most flights are resuming, but there may be some delays.”

Pete Montaigne of CNN and Kay Jones contributed to this report.