Wikipedia was knocked offline on Monday due to two accidentally cut cables near a data centre in Florida.
The online encyclopedia and various associated services were inaccessible or extremely sluggish for over two hours on Monday.
A status web page showed various parts of the Wikimedia network as suffering performance issues.
Wikipedia ruled out any suggestion of malicious intent being behind problem.
The two cables, which stretched between Tampa and Virginia, were broken for an hour and six minutes, the site said.
After the cables were repaired, it took another hour for basic service on Wikipedia to be restored.
Its mobile site appeared to unaffected, although the service’s API – application programming interface – continued to suffer problems even when the main site had been restored.
In an error message posted to the site, the Wikimedia Foundation reiterated its reliance on donations to fund its continued operation.
“The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization which hosts some of the most popular sites on the internet,” the message read.
“It has a constant need to purchase new hardware. If you would like to help, please donate.”
Despite its limited funding, the site is considered to have impressive reliability. Its last significant down time was deliberate – the site went “offline” for 24 hours in protest at proposed anti-piracy bills in the US.