Global internet outages drop 16% in first week of May

Amora R Jelo

This weekly feature from S&P Global Market Intelligence, in collaboration with internet-service monitoring company ThousandEyes, aims to give remote workers insights into internet service disruptions.

Global internet outages totaled 250 in the week of May 1, down 16% week over week, ending three consecutive weeks of increases, according to data from ThousandEyes, a network-monitoring service owned by Cisco Systems Inc.

U.S. outages also declined, down 38% to 95 total, compared to 152 the week prior. U.S. outages comprised 38% of global disruptions, down from 52% the previous week.

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The week’s most notable outages included a May 3 disruption to the Magic Transit service of content distribution network provider Cloudflare Inc. The outage, first observed about 6 p.m. ET, came in the form of packet loss that occurred at varying levels and apparently impacted Cloudflare’s global infrastructure. Cloudflare fixed the issue and declared it resolved just after 9 p.m. ET.

ThousandEyes also observed an interruption May 7 that affected customers and networks of Hong Kong-based internet service provider PCCW Ltd. in multiple countries such as the U.S., Australia, Brazil and China. The disruption appeared to center on PCCW’s infrastructure in Ashburn, Va., and New York. The outage, which lasted about 22 minutes across two periods over a half-hour span, was cleared around 4:05 a.m. ET.

The number of global outages among collaboration apps during the week dropped by half, to three, compared to six in the previous week. The U.S. accounted for two of those outages, compared to five in the week prior.

Business-hours outages represented 39% of the total global network disruptions, down 6 percentage points from the previous week. In the U.S., business-hours outages fell to 27% of the total, down from 52% the prior week, marking a return to levels last observed in mid-March.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 49% of the global outages occurred during business hours, up 12 percentage points week over week. The Asia-Pacific region saw a similar level of business-hours disruptions, at 47% of the region’s total, a 12-percentage-point increase from the prior week.

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