Several major websites, including those of the UK government, The New York Times, CNN, The Financial Times and The Guardian, were temporarily inaccessible to many users on Tuesday morning.
Sites like Etsy, Hulu, PayPal, Reddit, Twitch, and Twitter also reported problems, according to Downdetector.com, which tracks internet disruptions.
Many of the affected areas appeared to have recovered in just under an hour.
The outage was related to Fastly, a cloud computing services provider used by numerous companies to improve the speed and reliability of their websites. Fastly later said on its website that the problem had been identified and that a solution would be made.
Fastly works with a technology known as a Content Delivery Network, a highly distributed network of servers that is used to reduce the distance between a server and a user and to increase the speed of a website loading.
The technology is said to improve reliability as it distributes the delivery of a website to many locations instead of depending on a central data center. Fastly did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
Widespread internet outages are rarer today than they were years ago as Google and other large tech companies develop interconnected data centers that improve performance. However, there have been a number of incidents over the past year.
In December, Google services like Gmail, Maps and YouTube crashed for about an hour. The company attributed the problem to a “failure of the authentication system”. And in January, Slack, the popular workplace messaging platform used by millions of people worldwide, experienced a major disruption that prevented users from sending messages, loading channels, making calls, or logging into the service.