News The Day The Internet Broke

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The day the internet ‘broke’
9th June 2021

By Karen Pickwick

Many of the world’s largest global online retailers including Amazon, eBay and Etsy were hit by a global web outage yesterday morning (June 8).

With Amazon earning $950,000 a minute, the meltdown could have lost retailers worldwide about $1bn, says ParcelHero.

Major online stores including Boots were among the many sites that failed in what is being termed the hour the internet ‘broke’. The e-commerce delivery expert ParcelHero estimates retailers across the UK, Europe and US will have lost around £1bn because of the international outage.

ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks, said: “Time really is money in the era of e-commerce.
 
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“According to the BBC and other sources, the content delivery network run by Fastly has admitted responsibility. Many e-commerce and media companies use the service, which helps sites speed up loading times. When such services fail, it impacts on the whole site.

“The problem also hit the UK Government’s website and payment provider PayPal. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was also down, which impacted on other retailers using its cloud services who may not use Fastly directly.

“It is believed the problems were localised, affecting specific locations across Europe and the US.

“Fastly was quick to restore services and implement a fix, but the problem does underline how vulnerable retailers are if major international cloud computing services fail. Where possible, retailers need to have a plan B to bypass various systems and keep trading if they hit a problem. Imagine the money Amazon and its marketplace traders would lose if this had happened on Prime Day or Black Friday?”