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Internet outages rose 13% last week, including 2 multinational disruptions

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.

The number of internet outages rose by 13% globally and within the U.S. during the week of Jan. 16-22, with two multinational incidents among the most notable disruptions.

With 114 outages, the U.S. accounted for 47% of the global total of 241 network disruptions, according to data from ThousandEyes, a network-monitoring service owned by Cisco Systems Inc.

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Among the most widespread outages, on Jan. 18, Tata Communications (US) Inc., a global ISP owned by India's Tata Communications Ltd., suffered an outage that limited the network access of customers across the U.S. and in the U.K., Australia, India, Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and Canada. The outage appeared at about 7:40 a.m. ET almost simultaneously in TATA network segments in Newark, NJ; New York; Frankfurt, Germany; London; Singapore; Paris; and Buckinghamshire, England.

After five minutes, the outage also spread to TATA network segments in Chicago; San Jose, Calif.; Seville, Spain; Tokyo; and Hong Kong.

The network disruption lasted about 35 minutes and was cleared around 8:15 a.m. ET on Jan. 18.

Another large-scale outage with international impact occurred Jan. 20, beginning at 12:20 p.m. ET in the Washington, D.C.-area network segments owned by the U.S.-based Tier 1 carrier Level 3 Communications, which was acquired in 2017 by CenturyLink Inc. Level 3's parent company has since rebranded as Lumen Technologies.

The outage blocked or limited internetwork access to Level 3 customers across the U.S. and in South Africa, the U.K., Turkey, Russia, New Zealand and Australia. Companies including JP Morgan Chase & Co., Visa Inc., and Oracle Corp. were impacted before the outage cleared at around 12:55 p.m. ET.

Overall, the percentage of outages occurring during business hours across regions in the past week was 39%, up from 35% the week prior, as increases in business-hour outages in the Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa regions overshadowed a slight decline in such disruptions in the U.S. Asia-Pacific experienced the highest percentage of business-hour disruptions last week, at 46%, compared to 34% in the U.S., and 38% in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

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