(Reuters) - The second biggest U.S. wireless carrier AT&T said its mobile phone service to 911 emergency dispatchers was restored on Wednesday evening 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.
The Seminole County Sheriff's Office in Florida, in a message typical of alerts by other public safety agencies across the country, posted its regular 10-digit phone number on Twitter and asked local residents to dial that in an emergency.
AT&T had about 135 million wireless subscribers in the United States as of Dec. 31, 2016, according to a company filing.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru,; Editing by Sandra Maler and Michael Perry)