Zoom Suffers Outages

Usage of video conferencing application, Zoom, explodes during pandemic

  • The Zoom boom
  • Zoom partial outage
  • Big impacts on the first day of school
  • Zoom is working on a solution to prevent outages

The Zoom Boom

Since the coronavirus pandemic shut down most non-essential operations around the world, the California-based video conferencing company, Zoom has emerged as an excellent medium to connect people who are sheltering in place, working from home, and quarantining at home.

Although Zoom had already been around almost a decade ago, its innovative platform has allowed it to thrive at around the beginning of 2020. For example, many grade schools, middle schools, high schools, and universities have utilized the video conferencing application to conduct class, meetings and job interviews have been held through Zoom, many public events have migrated to Zoom, and celebrations between friends and family have utilized the convenience of Zoom as well. Zoom had become a very convenient and innovative way for many people to stay connected. In April, the company reported the application drawing more than 300 million daily participants.

Popular video conference app, Zoom

Zoom partial outage

The popular video conferencing app had reportedly been down in some parts of the world on August 24. Zoom issued a statement on that Monday morning saying, “We have received reports of users being unable to visit the Zoom website(zoom.us) and unable to start and join Zoom Meetings and Webinars.” They assured users in their statement that, “We are currently investigating and will provide updates as we have them.” However, the Zoom spokesperson did not explain what caused the outage and how many users were impacted by it.

Big impacts on first day of school

Outages have been reported across the US and Europe. These outages had reportedly been going on for more than three hours that Monday morning. The technical difficulties involve the inability of users to join or host video conferences. During the “partial outage”, chat, phone, and other auxiliary functions had been working as normal. Down Detector, a service that tracks self-reported Internet outages, reported most of the technical difficulties on the US east coast. 70% of users reported having trouble logging in, 15% reported issues with the Zoom website, and 13% reported issues with the server.

Jacqueline Donovan, a professor at Broward College in Broward County, Florida, recalled how the partial outage impacted her saying, “Today was horrible.” Both her children had been trying to log onto Zoom classes that morning. She said, “They were both panic stricken and anxious.” Donovan had also been trying to start her own Zoom class and many students frantically emailed her. She had eventually cancelled class that day.

Many students started remote learning on their first day back to school on August 24. Students in Atlanta were among the users that experienced technical difficulties accessing the Zoom website. The Atlanta Public Schools told families that they were figuring out a solution to the problem in a tweet they posted. According to Down Detector, some users in the UK were also having trouble with Zoom.

Zoom is working on a solution to prevent outages

In an updated statement, Zoom announced that they identified the issue that caused the Zoom outages and that they are now working on a solution to fix the issue. The company has experienced difficulties before when “zoom bombers” crashed meetings.

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