People across the East Coast were having trouble accessing core Internet services Tuesday morning, just as they were logging on for work and school.

Users reported trouble loading Gmail, Slack and Zoom — apps that have become necessities to keep work-from-home life running smoothly during the coronavirus pandemic. Downdetector, which tracks reports of outages, showed widespread issues with Verizon, Google, Zoom, YouTube, Slack, Amazon Web Services and others Tuesday just before noon.

On Twitter, which many still were able to access, people reported they were seeing issues with their Verizon Fios Internet service. Verizon’s customer support team said via Twitter on Tuesday that a fiber had been cut in Brooklyn, which could possibly account for some of the issues. The support account on Twitter quickly became inundated with customers asking why their internet was slow and bumpy.

It was not immediately clear what was causing the outages, though many people pointed to issues with their Verizon Fios service. Amazon Web Services’ status page showed its service, which provides computing power to large swaths of the Internet, was experiencing an issue with an external provider. On its status page, it said that it is “investigating connectivity issues with an internet provider, mainly affecting the East Coast of the United States, outside of the AWS Network.” Slack said there were no issues with its own service.

The outage also disrupted school districts’ online teaching programs, which have become essential in the past year.

Prince William County Public Schools in Virginia tweeted just after noon Tuesday that it is “aware of Internet connection problems with Verizon FIOS impacting students and staff.”

Verizon, Google, Amazon and Zoom did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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