CNN, PayPal, and the UK government's website were all down because of one company

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

503 Service Unavailable... The internet had a bad day. Dozens of websites, including the NYT and the UK government's portal, went dark for nearly an hour yesterday. Reddit's and Amazon's sites were also affected. Blame an internal glitch at cloud-service provider Fastly.

  • Fastly is a "stoxygen" company... You don't see it, but it's kind of everywhere. Companies use it to speed up their webpages and get things to your screen faster (hence, Fastly).
  • Fastly hosts content (think: news articles) and delivers them to your screen from a server near you, reducing the time it takes for info to reach users.

Fastly was down... but its stock wasn't. Fastly shares jumped 11% yesterday (awkward), despite the outage. Shares of rival content delivery networks, like Cloudflare and Akamai, were also up.


Investors noticed the flattering details... within the not-so-flattering headlines. The outage highlighted how many of the world’s websites rely on Fastly and other content delivery networks. While reading the outage news, investors may have noticed that Fastly has 336 enterprise clients — including big names like Amazon, NYT, Stripe, Shopify, and even a government. The bad news generated some big buzz for Fastly.