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Update: Nationwide outage resolved, 911 service in Yellowstone County returned

Cell Phone
Posted at 5:37 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 15:05:35-04

Update Thursday

The 911 services for Billings and Yellowstone County have been restored, city spokeswoman Victoria Hill said.

The issue was resolved around 3 a.m. Thursday.


Emergency 911 service in Yellowstone County and Billings was hampered Wednesday because of a nationwide outage affecting cell phones, according to city officials.

Victoria Hill, a city spokesperson, said the dispatch center has created a workaround so callers can still reach a dispatcher by calling 911.

The outage is impacting cell phones and landlines differently, and Hill said officials don't know how long it will take to fix the problem.

Verizon users in the Billings area reported an outage with their phone service. According to CNET, which tracks tech issues, thousands of Verizon users began reporting problems nationwide just before 3 p.m. Mountain time. Some users were able to fix the problem by removing and reinserting their SIM cards in their phones.

Hill said people in Yellowstone County who get a busy signal while calling 911 should hang up and try again. Don't call 911 to test the lines.

Callers could also try texting to 911 in an emergency, Hill said.

Other areas in Montana are experiencing similar problems:

This is a developing story. Check back for details.