RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – From people shopping Amazon to trying to stream Hulu or wanting to play Fortnite and to big communications providers such as Verizon and Bandwidth, the operable word Tuesday is “outage.”
However, by 2 p.m. numerous services were returning to normal, based on a review of 48 website reports at Downdetector.com. But YouTube suffered a serious spike in outages a that time and other providers such as AT&T, CenturyLink and T-Mobile continued to have trouble at 3 p.m., Downtector showed.
By 4 p.m. some problems persisted but many charts showed a return to near-normal access.
Downdetector, which tracks internet troubles, has been posting alerts and updates about outages all day with some troubles being cited as early as Monday night. Zoom has been affected as Microsoft Teams.
Most outages began around 11:30 a.m. Nearly 30 were reported throughout the morning. And numerous more companies joined the list later.
Among those companies being hit were Bandwidth, which is based in Raleigh, and Epic Games, publisher of Fortnite.
Even Pokemon Go was hit.
So were Slack and various Google services.
“We are issuing a warning to businesses that there is a major internet outage being reported across the United States today,” said internet advisory firm Intelice Solutions.
“The issue is being reported by several major outlets including Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T. Comcast is calling it an “external network issue”. This comes shortly after the one-year anniversary of a major DDOS attack on Dyn last year that crippled the internet for an entire day back in October 2016.”
Based on outage maps, the current problems appear centered on the East Coast.
No reason has been cited yet for the outages, although Verizon reported a fiber cut in New York.
In an emailed statement 90 minutes after the outage was first reported, Verizon said it was working on the problem hurting Fios service “throughout the Northeast corridor” and that some service had already been restored.
The telecom giant had reported a cut fiber in Brooklyn via Twitter, although it’s not clear if that issue was responsible for the entire outage. Verizon didn’t give any estimate in its email about when the problem would be fixed.
Comcast, another major internet service provider, said its network was performing normally in the early afternoon on the East Coast.
People posting on Twitter reported having issues connecting with various online services in a geographic area stretching from Washington to Boston. That densely populated region includes key U.S. government services as well as major financial companies such as Fidelity Investments.
Amazon Web Services said it was “investigating connectivity issues with an internet provider, mainly affecting the East Coast of the United States, outside of the AWS Network,” according to The Washington Post.
Among those companies being hit are Bandwidth, which is based in Raleigh, and Epic Games, publisher of Fortnite.
Even Pokemon Go has been hit.
So has Slack and various Google services.
Disruptions to internet services are always a hassle, but have become even more excruciating as the pandemic forces millions of people to work from home and students to attend school remotely.
Cary Wiedemann, a network engineer who had connectivity problems at his home in Northern Virginia, said that some online services could have been disrupted even if your home internet still worked, if the issue was with the backbone of Verizon’s network.
“If Outlook works but YouTube doesn’t, whose fault is it? Verizon’s fault. But that’s not obvious from the onset,” he said.
For updates, check out Downdetecor’s Twitter feed.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)