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Outages hit Zoom as more schools start the year with online learning

Members of the Kansas State Board of Education meet via Zoom with staffers and other officials in July.
(Associated Press)

Zoom was experiencing partial outages Monday morning as millions of students, relying on the video conferencing technology to connect with educators, got into the new school year.

The company, Zoom Video Communications Inc., said Monday that it had begun receiving reports of disruptions around 6 a.m. Pacific time. Its status page showed updates as the company worked toward a fix.

Technical issues were occurring across the U.S., with the most reports on the East Coast, as well as in Europe, according to Downdetector, which monitors self-reported outages.

Grade schools, high schools and universities are relying on Zoom and competing technologies such as Microsoft Teams to learn remotely so as to reduce the chance of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The first day of school has rolled out throughout the country over the past several weeks, a hybrid of in-person and online classes. Last year, about 21% of school districts began instruction during the last week in August, according to Pew Research.

Los Angeles Unified School District began online classes Thursday. Some school districts — including New York City, the nation’s largest — don’t begin until after Labor Day.

Zoom became a familiar tool after the spread of COVID-19 made face-to-face meetings risky. It now has about 300 million users.

The San Jose company suffered some growing pains during the early months of the pandemic, such as contending with “Zoom-bombers” making uninvited appearances in classes and meetings, but successfully went public in April.


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