‘Crecimiento’ in Latin America

Two weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of visiting Medellin, Colombia to present at the Latin American and Caribbean Network Operators Group (LACNOG) portion of LACNIC 19. Medellin is a vibrant place, recently recognized as the world’s most innovative city by the Urban Land Institute due to the city’s investments in public infrastructure and civic spaces. LACNIC19

Perhaps equally innovative is Colombia’s Internexa, which in recent years has been building the region’s first international terrestrial telecommunications network. Meanwhile, another remarkable regional story is the exponential growth of the domestic Internet in Brazil — especially when contrasted with the stagnation in Mexico. While government initiatives in Brazil, the region’s largest economy, were able to foster much of its recent growth, the current regulatory overhaul in Mexico hopes to achieve something similar in the region’s second largest economy.
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Cuba-Jamaica Link Activated

In the last week, we have observed a second non-satellite connection established for Cuban state telecom, ETECSA. This time a different segment of the ALBA-1 submarine cable is being used to connect Cuba to the neighboring island nation of Jamaica. At 15:04 UTC on 13 May 2013, we observed ETECSA beginning to receive international Internet service through Cable & Wireless Jamaica.

In January, we reported the news that the ALBA-1 submarine cable connecting Cuba to Venezuela had started carrying Internet traffic two years after its construction, answering the question of what happened to the mystery cable to Cuba. alba_cable.png

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Syrian Internet.. Fragility?

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Update (15:26 UTC, 15 May): Routes to Syrian networks have been restored, at 18:26 Damascus time. Outage duration: 8h25m

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Update (14:20 UTC, 15 May): Plot of latency measurements to Syrian hosts from various locations, indicating that replies stopped returning shortly after 7am UTC, aligned with the withdrawal of routes to Syrian networks. (Click image for details)

Update (07:30 UTC, 15 May): Syrian Internet down again since 07:01 UTC (10:00 Damascus time), Wednesday, 15 May 2013. Syrian news agency reports that they’re working to fix. Potentially related to forthcoming UN decision today?

Update: Syrian Internet has returned. Outage lasted 19.5 hours, from 18:45 UTC May 7th to 14:13 UTC May 8th.

As we write, the Syrian people are still disconnected from the global Internet at the most fundamental level, nearly all of their paths withdrawn from the global routing table. Since 18:45 UTC on May 7th, Renesys hasn’t seen a flicker of activity. We haven’t been able to successfully send a ping or a traceroute to any host inside Syria. Government websites, universities, domain name servers, core infrastructure routers, banks, businesses, DSL customers, smartphones: all silent.

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As I look back at what we’ve written about Internet outage over the years, I see a sort of evolution in our perspective. We’ve covered Internet failures due to war, politics, censorship, central planning, earthquakes, hurricanes, cable cuts, business disputes, terrorism, undersea mud volcanoes, and (perhaps) cyberwarfare.

In the early days, we reported each outage breathlessly, shocked that the Internet could fail in such spectacular ways. If you look around the web this morning, you’ll see a lot of that same shock-and-awe reporting from companies who are just discovering the fragilities visible in Internet data.

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