Video conferencing company Zoom has come under fire after thousands of users reported experiencing connectivity problems on Sunday. The timing of the outage, which occurred on Sunday morning, has caused many to speculate that the technical difficulties were triggered by the surge of people logging on to attend virtual church services.
"Looks like the church broke the internet #zoomdown," tweeted Northern Irish church leader, Glen Mitchell.
Reverend Simon Harvey, a vicar based in Bury St Edmonds, lamented: "Imagine if door locks in churches across the country jammed simultaneously on a Sunday morning."
The problems weren't limited to the UK, either, with many across pond flagging up difficult hosting services.
“Zoom not working properly for our church service in Chesterton, IN at 9:30am central time,” wrote one Twitter user. “Pulled the plug at about 9:50am when a Google search revealed international Zoom problem.”
“You guys should know it’s killing church meetings this morning,” another added. “Let’s hope it’s resolved soon. Tomorrow is Monday and business meetings are not as forgiving as worship services.”
The connection problems, which affected audio/video and prevented people from logging into meetings, also caused disruption to the UK government’s daily coronavirus briefing, with many journalists being unable to ask their questions live on air. Instead, they were required to submit them in written format and were promised that the host of the press conference — business secretary, Alok Sharma — would not be privy to them prior to the briefing.
In a tweet on Sunday, Zoom said it was "investigating the root cause of issues joining Zoom Meetings,” before adding that the issues "appear to be limited to a subset of users.”
On Monday, Zoom told Forbes that it had fixed the bug: “Users impacted by an issue hosting and joining Zoom Meetings and Zoom Video Webinars should now be able to host, join, and participate in these sessions.
“We are continuing to assess this matter that impacted a subset of our users and will monitor to ensure no further operational impact. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this might have caused.”