Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes they can have major repercussions. When you deal with the internet, a small error can affect a lot of people, and that recently happened in Japan. A small mistake by Google led to major internet outages in half of the country.

At the end of last week (via TNW), Google mistakenly set network information incorrectly which led to traffic being directed through Google instead of ISPs. In short, traffic that was meant to go through major ISPs ended up trying to go through Google itself, essentially hitting a brick wall and going nowhere. Google was quick to fix this issue with a spokesperson saying that it was fixed within 8 minutes, but the error still had lasting effects for a few hours throughout the country.

We set wrong information for the network and, as a result, problems occurred. We modified the information to the correct one within eight minutes. We apologize for causing inconvenience and anxieties.

While partial connections were restored within an hour or so, things were still slow for most users and some services in the finance and transportation industries were still affected. In one example, some train riders were unable to buy tickets or board trains during the outage.

This obviously isn’t the first time something like this has happened, but it’s always something that can irritate quite a lot of internet users. Thankfully, Google was quick to own its mistake and work with ISPs to fix the problem.

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Ben Schoon

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