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Zoom apologizes for partial network disconnection

Zoom, the video-conferencing app that has proved popular with people working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, suffered a partial failure that left thousands of people in the US, UK and across the world unable to connect to work meetings or classes.

The California-based company behind the app apologised to customers on Monday and said it was working hard to fix the problem that had left users “unable to start and join Zoom meetings and webinars”.

“We are in the process of deploying a fix across our cloud. Service has been restored already for some users. We are continuing to roll this out to complete the fix for any users still impacted,” Zoom Video Communications said on its website on Monday.

The company said later on Monday that the issue had been resolved: “We have resolved an issue that caused some users to be unable to start and join Zoom meetings and webinars or manage aspects of their account on the Zoom website. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.”

The heightened use of the company’s video meeting software during the pandemic has sent its shares up more than 300% so far this year. There were more than 300 million participants in April at the height of global lockdowns.

Outage tracking website Downdetector showed more than 15,000 users reporting incidents with Zoom earlier on Monday.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets commentator at retail investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Zoom has been the poster child for video conferencing during the pandemic, but, as millions of new customers logged on all over the world, the platform was hit by a number of security, reliability and privacy problems.

“The company’s founder and chief executive, Eric Yuan, introduced a 90-day plan to address privacy and security concerns, but today’s outage, which has mainly affected the east coast of the US and parts of Europe, shows that problems persist.

“Zoom’s share price has almost tripled since the start of the pandemic, but for sustained growth to continue it will have to show investors that it can be relied on to ensure its core customers don’t drift towards the likes of Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Cisco’s Webex.”

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