Power failure temporarily brings many news and information websites to a standstill


Numerous websites were unavailable on Tuesday morning after an apparently widespread failure at the cloud service provider Fastly. Dozens of high traffic websites, including CBSNews.com, the New York Times, CNN, Twitch, and the UK government homepage, were down for nearly an hour, with some websites still down.

Fastly of San Francisco confirmed a problem just before 6 a.m. Eastern Time. Repeated updates to its website said it was “continuing to investigate”.

Down Detector, tracking internet outages, said, “Reports are suggesting that there may be a widespread outage at Fastly that could affect your service.”

Fastly, which is publicly traded, operates a content delivery network, or CDN, which is used by many media outlets and other websites to deliver multimedia content to users. It was a failure in part of the widely used CDN that crippled Fastly’s client sites on Tuesday.

“This morning it looked like the entire Internet was down,” said Dan Patterson, technology reporter for CBS News. He said the fact that most of the affected websites were displaying “Error 503” messages was an early indication that a network glitch, and not a hacker, was behind the outages.

“We wouldn’t see that one 503 error everywhere” if it was a hack, Patterson said, implying that it was more of a “misconfiguration of some kind.”

Fastly announced to CBS News that the “problem has been identified and a resolution is underway” and that the affected websites are slowly coming back online. Patterson said that service to users in different regions would likely be patchy as the issue was completely resolved.

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