Why Is The Internet So Slow? Service Outages Across The Country Have Everyone Mad

By
Share
Ad failed to load

We all knew the internet was going to turn into a glacially paced mess, but we didn’t think it would be happening so soon. On Dec. 18, everyone got a nasty little preview of a slow-internet world, when outages across the country brought everyone’s service to a stuttering halt. So if you’re wondering why the internet is so slow, that’s why. It’s a buffering nightmare.

UPDATE: A representative of CenturyLink, the parent company of Level 3, said via email that reports that their network was suffering an outage were inaccurate. "The CenturyLink network is operating normally. We are aware of Downdetector reports about our network," D. Nikki Wheeler tells Elite Daily by email. She cited Downdetector’s disclaimer which notes that it collects Twitter reports of issues, but does not itself make judgements about outages.

EARLIER: On Monday afternoon, two major “backbone” internet service providers (ISPs), Level 3 and Cogent, were hit with huge outages, according to Slate. ISP monitor Downdetector showed the outages hitting basically every major metropolitan area in the United States, including the Boston / New York / Washington D.C. chain, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas. There were also smaller hot (or, more accurately, not) spots in the areas of Miami, Houston, and Minneapolis. So basically, a whole lot of people were feeling the pain.

Ad failed to load

Because of the interconnectedness of the internet, though, you might have been hit with limited access or slower service even if you don't recognize either of these names as the one that shows up on your wifi bill. Customers who use Verizon or Comcast could feel the effects too of the outage, Slate notes.

People were not happy.

Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load

By the evening, it appeared to have cleared up (somewhat) — by around 7:30 p.m. ET, many of the bright red spots had faded to orange, or even yellow. So, you know, just regularly lousy service. Not the spectacularly bad service that everyone was moaning about.

Adding to the irony, of course, is the timing.

Only four days before, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality in what many called a blow to a free and open internet. One of the things that opponents of the repeal were most worried about? Slow internet service, throttled bandwith, and lack of accessibility.

Ad failed to load

So the outage was pretty ironic.

On Dec. 14, the five member FCC voted 3-2 to repeal Obama-era guidelines on net neutrality, which laid out regulations on how ISPs could provide service. The regulations required that ISPs treat the internet as an equal playing field, and prohibited them from blocking or slowing access to sites or apps, or favoring certain sites or apps above others. The rules, which were put in place in 2015, labeled high speed internet as a public utility similar to phones.

Ad failed to load

Many advocates of net neutrality were concerned that without the rules in place, ISPs would create a tiered internet in which consumers would have to pay extra to access certain sites or features, and in which small or underground players would be disadvantaged. Maine Senators Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an Independent, wrote a joint letter on the day of the scheduled vote calling on the FCC to delay it. The letter read in part,

Of course, the rule repeal didn't immediately go into effect, so it's pretty unlikely this is about net neutrality. (Neither Level 3 nor Cogent immediately responded to Elite Daily's inquiry about the source of the outages.) It's far more likely to be just your generic crappy service. But it's pretty ironic nonetheless.

Ad failed to load

When everyone said the internet's days were numbered, we didn't expect it to be quite this fast, after all.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

3 Important Red Flags To Watch Out For When You're Dating Someone Older Than You

My first serious relationship was with someone almost ten years my senior. We got together during my first semester of college (after meeting through mutual friends) and I'd be lying if I said our breakup didn't have anything to do with our significa…
By Sydnee Lyons

These "Millennial Cruises" Will Make Your Next Friend Group Vacation So Lit

If you're a millennial right now, consider yourself lucky. If you're a millennial with the travel bug, consider yourself luckier. I know, you might be thinking, "But... money!" Trust me, I get it. Plane tickets and hotels can get expensive as you cou…
By Amanda Fama

5 Trends From The '90s Are Making A Serious Comeback, So Somebody Page Cher Horowitz

I was born in the '90s and my childhood was one Caboodles train case packed with scrunchies and butterfly clips after another. If you could believe it, early '90s fashion is already considered vintage (I officially feel old AF) and according to sprin…
By Stephanie Montes

5 Social Things You Can Do To Feel Less Lonely If You’re Single

Being single and being lonely don’t have to go hand-in-hand. Just because you don’t have a significant other, doesn’t mean you aren’t surrounded by wonderful people who love and care about you. But once in a while (especially if you’ve been single fo…
By Veronica Lopez

6 Subtle Red Flags That Could Mean You’re Sleeping Way Too Much

Have you ever woken up after an unusually long night of sleep and felt, well, kind of awful? Whether you roll out of bed feeling super dehydrated, nursing a throbbing a headache, or you simply feel stiff as a board, there are reasons why your body mi…
By Annakeara Stinson

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas