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Skype service suffers global failure

Skype service suffers global failure

By Tim Bradshaw in London

Published: December 23 2010 04:51 | Last updated: December 23 2010 11:03

Millions of users of Skype, the internet telephone provider, were cut off for several hours, in a global failure of the company's service as it prepares for a stock-market offering next year.

Skype, which had 124m worldwide users as of October and is partly owned by Ebay, the internet auction company, was completely offline for more than three hours during Wednesday afternoon and evening, UK time.

More than 12 hours later, some people were still reporting that the service was unavailable, particularly in Asia.

Around 8.30pm GMT (3.30pm EST) on Wednesday, Skype said via its feed on Twitter, the internet messaging service, that it was "gradually returning to normal" but would take "several hours" to get everybody back online. At around 7am GMT on Thursday, it apologised again to those who were "still waiting".

"We sincerely apologise for the disruption to your conversations," Skype said on its own blog. "Some features, like group video calling, may take longer to return to normal."

Skype explained that the outage was caused by "a problem affecting some versions of Skype", which took offline the "supernodes" which it relies upon to route much of its traffic.



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