Verizon suffers a major internet outage in the Northeast

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The outage knocked some consumers and businesses offline for several hours

If you’re a Verizon customer and had trouble getting online Tuesday afternoon, the problem wasn’t your device or your Wi-Fi. The carrier said it suffered an outage that affected customers in the Northeast.

Most of the outage occurred between Boston and Washington, DC, which covers millions of Verizon customers. The company said its network suffered “degraded service,” causing some applications requiring high bandwidth to stop working. 

Verizon said its engineers and techs began responding to trouble reports during the late morning on Tuesday, with issues lasting into the early afternoon. This left employees working from home and students attending online classes in the dark. Customers like “Flight’s Burner” took to Twitter to express their frustration.

“Why does Verizon want to have a major outage when I have class?” he posted.

Twitter users also reported that they were also having issues with Zoom, Slack, Gmail, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). A graph on Zoom’s status page shows a huge spike in trouble reports peaking around noon on Tuesday.

"We are aware of an issue impacting the quality of Fios service throughout the Northeast corridor," Rich Young, a spokesman for Verizon told CNN. "Our network team is fully engaged. We are working through the root cause and have already seen service levels start to restore."

FCC takes notice

While Verizon engineers worked to figure out the cause of the outage, it caught the attention of the Federal Communications Commission. Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel wrote on Twitter that both her agency and the Department of Homeland Security were investigating because the outage interfered with Americans attending class and working remotely.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Kentik, an internet measurement company, tracked a 12 percent drop in data traffic to Verizon during the three hours or so that service was interrupted. At this point, all indications suggest the issue was limited to the Northeast region.

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