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Widespread internet outage linked to cloud service provider Fastly

New Scientist Default Image

Websites for the UK government and numerous media outlets were down for about an hour

SEAN GLADWELL/Getty Images

Dozens of major websites, including New Scientist, were offline for around an hour on Tuesday morning in a widespread outage linked to a leading internet content delivery service.

US firm Fastly, a content delivery network (CDN) that helps websites speed up loading times and present their content to users, confirmed at 10.58 am BST it was looking into an issue that had a “potential impact to performance with our CDN services”.

The issue appeared to be resolved just before 12 noon UK time. “The issue has been identified and a fix has been applied. Customers may experience increased origin load as global services return,” Fastly said on its service status web page.

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The UK government’s website and the online discussion platform Reddit were among those that returned “Error 503” messages during the outage. Numerous media outlets were also affected, including The Guardian, Financial Times, The Independent and The New York Times.

A number of the affected websites reported that the issue was linked to Fastly. Alex Hern, The Guardian’s technology editor, tweeted that Fastly “has been identified as the cause of the problem”. Quartz also attributed the issue to Fastly in a Twitter post.

Fastly offers services such as speeding up loading times for websites, protecting them from denial-of-service cyberattacks and helping them deal with bursts of traffic in order to stay online and stable.

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