Google users hit by 'traffic jam' glitch
Published 15/05/2009 | 12:26
Google suffered a temporary fault yesterday which left internet users without access to the web search engine.
The technical problem brought down the company's homepage and affected email and other services.
People around the world reported a slowdown, with some posting messages on Twitter saying they were unable to get on to the site.
Similar problems were reported on other Google services, including Google News and Gmail, the company's e-mail service.
A Google spokesman said: "The issue affecting some Google services has been resolved.
"We're sorry for the inconvenience, and we'll share more details soon."
According to the US-based company, the fault lasted around an hour and affected a "small percentage of Google users".
Google later posted an explanation on its blogging site, headed: "This is your pilot speaking. Now, about that holding pattern..."
One of the company's executives apologised to those affected by the routing glitch, which he likened to a traffic jam.
Urs Hoelzle, senior vice president, operations, wrote: "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 to some of our users today for about an hour, starting at 7.48am Pacific time.
"An error in one of our systems caused us to direct some of our web traffic through Asia, which created a traffic jam.
"As a result, about 14% of our users experienced slow services or even interruptions.
"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.
"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. All planes are back on schedule now."