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Wikipedia downed by damaged cables


Users unable to access Wikipedia for two hours

Wikipedia was down for around two hours on Monday as crucial cables linked to the company’s Florida servers were cut.

The online encyclopaedia began experiencing problems at approximately 2:30pm, and the cable issue was rectified in just over an hour. However, it took a further hour for normal service to resume.

Foul play has been ruled out by the company, although David Gerard, a UK spokesman for the Wikimedia Foundation, admitted yesterday that it was unclear what had caused the damage.

While UK users were affected during the early afternoon, US users experienced problems between 9am and 11am, prompting many to comment on the issue via Twitter. Many jokingly wondered where they would get their ‘knowledge’ during the downtime.

Second outage in 2012

Of course, this is not the first time that the site has been unavailable to users this year.

In January, Wikipedia was deliberately taken down for a whole day by founder Jimmy Wales in protest at planned anti-piracy laws, which would have placed more responsibility on websites to find and remove copyrighted content themselves, as opposed to the current system of reacting to notifications and warnings.

This latest outage was certainly unplanned, but it seems that many users have reacted to the problem with good humour.

It is not the first time a severed cable has caused problems for internet users. In 2011, a Georgian woman digging near the capital Tbilisi inadvertently cut off internet access for everyone in neighbouring Armenia.

Written by JamesJames Riches


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