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Major media and government websites live again after outage across several countries

Fastly, one of the world’s major content delivery networks, said a “fix has been applied” after an outage across its global network.

Outage on the UK government website this morning.
Outage on the UK government website this morning.

Updated Jun 8th 2021, 2:15 PM

A NUMBER OF media and government websites are live again after they stopped working this morning in an outage that affected sites across several countries.

Amazon, Reddit and Pinterest experienced outages along with news sites including the Irish Times, BBC and the Guardian, which are now accessible again.

The Irish government website – gov.ie – continued working as normal. 

Access to the UK Government website – gov.uk – is now working, after previously giving the error message “Error 503 Service Unavailable”. 

The outage appeared to have been sparked by an issue with a content delivery network (CDN), a system used to host websites and their content on the internet and serve it to users.

The Guardian’s UK Technology Editor Alex Hern shared updates on the website’s status on Twitter, which has now been converted to a liveblog on the Guardian site.

Fastly, one of the world’s major CDNs, reported a major outage across its global network, which is believed to have caused the outage.

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

The US-firm said the “issue has been identified and a fix is being implemented” at 11.44am Irish time.

It added just before midday: “The issue has been identified and a fix has been applied. Customers may experience increased origin load as global services return.”

Service monitoring website Down Detector registered a spike in reports of outages of Amazon’s cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services.

Fastly’s clients include Deliveroo, Pinterest and Shazam, and its turnover last year was $291 million.

Companies like Fastly and its competitor Cloudflare handle huge amounts of internet traffic every day, playing an important if not widely known role in global internet access. 

Some outlets found creative ways of continuing to deliver news while their sites were down.

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The Verge, a US technology news site, published an article through Google Docs while its website couldn’t be reached.

Who was affected?

Messages such as “Error 503 Service Unavailable” and “connection failure” were seen on websites for a range of organisations, including CNN, the Financial Times, The Guardian, France’s Le Monde newspaper, Italy’s Corriere delle Serra and Spanish daily El Mundo as well as social and entertainment site Reddit.

The White House and gov.uk websites had error messages but became available again later, as did the the BBC, the New York Times and other news outlets.

A number of websites were down in the Nordic region, including Swedish newspapers Aftonbladet and Svenska Dagbladet, news aggregator site Omni, and Swedish social security service Forsakringskassan. In Denmark, TV2.dk’s website was down before returning.

Additional reporting by AFP and Lauren Boland

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