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Widespread Internet Outage Causes Hundreds of Websites to Stop Working

Early Tuesday morning, hundreds of websites and apps worldwide suddenly stopped working, resulting in a major outage that lasted just under an hour. Affected sites included CNN, Amazon, Target, and the UK Government Website. 

The problem, according to CNN, was caused by an outage at Fastly, which is a content delivery network and cloud service provider. The outage began at 5:49 a.m. Tuesday morning, and almost all traffic from Fastly went down. The traffic started flowing again a little bit before 7 a.m. Tuesday. 

The goal of Fastly is to improve load times for users on sites. Once Fastly went down, the websites and apps that they service were also blocked from viewing because of the support the network provides. The UK Government website was down for almost an hour. In a tweet, they said, “We are aware of the issues with http://GOV.UK which means that users may not be able to access the site. This is a wider issue affecting a number of other non-government sites. We are investigating this as a matter of urgency.” Shortly after, they reported that their website was back up and running as normal. 

While Fastly said they had largely resolved the issue Tuesday morning, some sites are still experiencing minor issues, mainly involving longer loading times. The company has said that this could be a lingering issue for a little while as the network begins to work its way back up. 

Although widespread internet outages usually only occur for a short amount of time ­– about 50 minutes in Fastly’s case – they do affect a significant amount of the online world and can cause a large portion of the internet to stop working. While some websites have backup content delivery networks in the event of a failure and thus usually aren’t affected by this, many were still impacted due to the large number of sites and apps that Fastly services. Follow live updates on the outage situation here.

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