Massive Internet Outages Are Causing Slow Wi-Fi Service In Major Cities Across The U.S.
While the repeal of Net Neutrality has sparked fears of an internet slow lane, that likely won't happen right away. However, it's not your imagination — the internet is actually super slow Monday, Dec. 18 due to multiple internet service providers, including "backbone" service providers Level3 and Cogent, which appear to be suffering from massive outages and downgraded service, according to the ISP monitoring service Downdetector, Slate reported. (Bustle has reached out to Level3 and Cogent for comment, and will update upon response.)
According to Downdetector, "Level3 Communications offers telecommunications services to business customers. Level3 services include internet [connectivity] and managed services such as VPN, collaboration, voice, and video" — and it's just one of many providers that's spending its Monday struggling to connect. Maybe we can blame the internet issues on Mercury Retrograde, but the additional stress of a slow internet connection is really the last thing you need on a Monday leading up to the 2017 holidays, and people on Twitter can relate to your struggle.
"My internet's slow AF at work this morn and it's really frustrating when you're tryna stream music.... pffft!" I Heart Moosiq wrote on Twitter. I totally get it. My internet goes bananas so often in Los Angeles, that I have a close personal relationship with the Downdetector app. And, while I don't seem to be affected today, reports of massive outages and stagnant internet speeds have been reported from coast to coast.
While the effects from the Net Neutrality repeal won't be felt for some time, some people are equating today's slow-poke internet connection with the eventual disappearance of the internet as we know it. And perhaps this is just a taste of what you can expect in the future, when it might start to feel like the old days of dial up.
The current internet speed that might be making you nostalgic for 1995, has been causing problems for people across the country most of the day, Downdetector noted on its Twitter page.
This outage is pretty ironic in the wake of last week's vote to repeal Net Neutrality, and April Glaser reported for Slate that Level 3 and Cogent aren't taking the hit alone— even Comcast seems to be having outages: "Since the internet is an interconnected mess of wires, disruptions with Level 3 and Cogent could impact service for Comcast and Verizon users in turn."
Like most modern conveniences, humans have become pretty dependent on high-speed internet for everything from paying bills to entertainment. No explanation for the Dec. 18 slowdown has been reported, but there are a number of things that can affect internet speeds.
"Sometimes outages are the result of disputes over peering, a term used to describe the connections between websites and internet service providers that determine how they exchange traffic so that data can be carried from one part of the internet to another," Glaser explained. "Peering depends on pacts between internet companies, but sometimes, these companies don’t always get along."
No matter what the cause of today's massive outage seems to be, it appears that we're getting a taste of the internet of the future, which really feels like the internet of the '90s.
A scan of outage maps from multiple service providers on Downdetector seems to indicate that no one has been spared in today's kerfuffle, likely due to backbone providers suffering outages, so if your internet connection is making you crazy, it might be best to use this time to do something offline like read a book, take a nap, or go for a walk. Because, unfortunately, what's happening right now could possibly be a taste of the new normal.