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Major internet outages hit Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states

A wave of internet connectivity problems washed over the United States' East Coast.

No, it's not just you. Beginning this morning, users from Massachusetts to Northern Virginia started having trouble connecting with their favorite internet sites. The service problem this time isn't with any of the major cloud providers but with the internet itself.

According to reports on the Outages list, which is the central mailing list for ISP and network operators to report and track major internet connection problems, service failures were first spotted on Long Island. Other reports quickly revealed it wasn't just a New York regional problem. 

Users, throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, start reporting having trouble reaching their favorite work-from-home sites such as Gmail, Office 365, Slack, and Zoom and school-from-home sites such as Blackboard and Schoology. Downdetector, which tracks website outages, showed serious slowdowns with many sites including Google, Zoom, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Outlook late on Tuesday morning.

The root cause appears to be a Verizon fiber cut in Brooklyn, NY. Verizon reported on Twitter, "There is a fiber cut and it has been reported, our technicians are aware; therefore working to resolve it as soon as possible." The Verizon ALTER.NET backbone network also went down taking it with Verizon Wireless and DSL internet connections. 

In addition, many Verizon Fios customers on the East Coast are reporting major slowdowns on all their internet services. Other users who aren't Verizon customers are saying they're seeing slowdowns as well. That's probably because of traffic backups caused by the Verizon fiber failure. Just like when a multi-lane highway loses a lane of traffic all the traffic starts slowing down.

At 1 PM Eastern, it appears that internet speeds are beginning to pick up. With luck and work, this morning's internet failure may be over later this afternoon. 

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