- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 14, 2009


Google officials say the slow or interrupted Internet service Thursday was the result of a system error that caused the company to redirect some of its Web traffic through Asia.

The problems started at about noon in the Washington area. Google officials say about 14 percent of users worldwide were stuck in the “traffic jam” that lasted for about an hour.

The company posted this analogy on its blog site to attempt to explain the problem:

“Imagine if you were trying to fly from New York to San Francisco, but your plane was routed through an airport in Asia. And a bunch of other planes were sent that way too, so your flight was backed up and your journey took much longer than expected. That’s basically what happened.”

Google began in 1998 as an Internet search engine and quickly became one the Web’s most widely used sites — offering such enhanced products as e-mail, online mapping and video sharing.

“We’ve been working hard to make our services ultrafast and ‘always on,’ so it’s especially embarrassing when a glitch like this one happens,” a company spokesperson said. “We’re very sorry that it happened, and you can be sure that we’ll be working even harder to make sure that a similar problem won’t happen again.”

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