Global Internet Outage – What A Load of Rubbish

On June 8th 2021 the world went wild with reports of a Global Internet Outage. For over one hour major sites such as BBC and the Financial Times reported errors when users around the world went to them.

Then as quickly as they went offline they all started working again and the doom merchants of the internet quickly started reporting this Global Internet Outage. The reality of the situation is that one major web services provider had an issue and any website that they hosted data for was temporarily unavailable. This hardly constitutes a global internet outage.

We should be clear that was there such a thing as a global internet outage then any services in one part of the world would be unavailable to other parts of the world. That is not just a few websites but vpn connections, email delivery, zoom meetings, Netflix plus millions of other services that we rely on either paid or unpaid. A subset of these going offline does not constitute a global internet outage.

Technically what is more likely to happen is a connection such as a submarine cable or a satellite link that is used to parse data from one place to another may have an issue rendering the connection dead. In this scenario the data that is supposed to pass through that connection would be rerouted through another connection. The outcome of this is a potential short outage with a longer period of slow internet access to those who normally use the connection that is down. Again though, the redundancies in the global connectivity means a proper “outage” is not only unlikely but also improbable.

Another possible issue would be if some extremely powerful group tries to fill the internet with redundant data requests causing a slowdown of the internet because there is simply too much going on. Again hardly a global outage.

Over the last few years I have watched multiple instances where people around the world go crazy with annoyance and anger that services that they “rely on” go offline for a period of time. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc have all been victims of this and then the media frenzy around how this was allowed to happen and the devastating effects the outage has had on people kicks in. Whilst I can appreciate that any outage of any service can be frustrating we should be cognizant that most people globally do not pay for these services that they complain about when they go offline. I believe that if you get something for free you should not really complain if there is an issue. It is not like the company has deliberately switched it off to annoy you.

Lets not hype up what was simply a service provider outage to a level of global catastrophe for the sake of readership numbers. Let call it what it was and leave it at that. I feel sorry for “Fastly” the company who provides content for many large websites as they have wrongly been tagged as the cause of a Global Internet Outage. They had an issue which they resolved quite quickly so lets just move on and stop sensationalizing the situation.

My final word on this is peoples reliance “read addiction” to these services is not a healthy situation to be in. If you cannot live without Facebook or Instagram for a few hours when it has a technical outage then there are more problems in the world than the outage themselves.

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