Thursday, September 23, 2010

So it’s not just me – there really IS a problem with Facebook this afternoon


Facebook struggled to maintain service availability today during the same period of time as a prominent Internet service provider dealt with a major outage.

We're getting countless reports of Facebook problems from users both inside and outside of CNET, with most reporting that the site has been up and down all morning. Facebook acknowledged that it was experiencing "latency issues" with its API, but it was not immediately clear what was causing those issues.

However, during the same period of time representatives for Qwest, a major Internet service provider, used their Twitter account to alert customers to "a known outage in WA" that "our techs are currently working to restore service as soon as possible." A quick check of the Internet Health Report around midday Pacific Time showed major packet loss on several key routes between Qwest and other Tier 1 providers, such as SBC and Saavis.

It's not at all clear that the two issues are related: representatives from Facebook and Qwest have not returned multiple requests for clarification. We'll continue to update this post as we receive more information, and please let us know if you're having problems with Facebook and where you're located, as these issues can often be regional.

Updated 1:22 p.m. PDT: Facebook released a statement: "We are experiencing an issue with a third party networking provider that is causing problems for some people trying to connect to Facebook. We are in contact with this provider in order to explore what can be done to resolve the issue. In the meantime, we are working on deploying changes to bypass the affected connections."

We're trying to get them to confirm whether Qwest is that "third-party networking provider," so stay tuned.

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