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explainer Website outages: Why Spotify, Amazon, Reddit and other sites were down this morning

The Irish Times, the BBC, the New York Times, Reddit, Amazon and Spotify were among those affected


(Stock Photo)

(Stock Photo)

(Stock Photo)

Large swathes of the internet were made inaccessible today due to a breakdown in a key network provider.

Fastly, which provides services to several websites, underwent a global outage event early on Tuesday.

At the time of writing, hundreds of popular websites used by Irish internet users were affected.

This included dozens of major Irish and international news websites, including the Irish Times, the BBC, the New York Times and the Guardian.

Major online forums such as Reddit, Twitch and Github were also affected, as were shopping sites such as Amazon and house sites such as MyHome.ie, as well as Spotify, PayPal and Shopify.

Apps on phones and tablets appeared to be relatively unaffected.

Despite rumours circulating on social media sites, there is no evidence of a hack or foul play. In an update, Fastly said that it had identified the problem was was working to implement a fix.

The outage seems to be focused more prevalently in certain parts of the world.

‘Content Delivery Network’ (CDN) outages are often connected to the local infrastructure, where data centres and other key equipment is located.

While sometimes the result of outside interference, they can also be caused by equipment failure, disruption from the grid or other factors.

Fastly’s ‘status update’ site, which is operational, shows that Ireland is currently one of the countries experiencing degraded connectivity.

The outage shows just how much the world depends on single tranches of infrastructure for its communication and information.

Last year, similar outages from both Cloudflare and AWS knocked out thousands of popular web services around the world.

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