Why Internet Paths Matter: Performance

Remember the Information Superhighway? It’s what some folks used to call the Internet back in the 1990s. Those of us lucky enough to have access from home were using dial-up modems that were over 1,000 times slower than the cable modem I’m using right now. Nothing very Super about that and the Internet has never […]

Will Iran Follow Sudan in Leaving the Internet?

As Iranian President Hasan Rouhani addressed the United Nations for the first time this week, people all over the world took to the Internet to hear and discuss his message, many for the first time. They saw a statesman exercising what Ayatollah Khamenei has called “heroic flexibility” — the will to consider all possibilities for […]

Internet Blackout in Sudan

Update (8:01 ET, 26 Sep): A few hours ago, we observed a total Internet blackout in Sudan and, as we publish this blog, the Internet remains largely unavailable. By count of impacted networks, it is the largest national blackout since Egypt disconnected itself in January 2011. The massive outage came as the government began a […]

What’s Next For Syria’s Internet

Update: Internet access in Aleppo, Syria down again as Turk Telekom service to STE disrupted at 17:48:42 UTC yesterday, Aug 29 as confirmed by sources to the Washington Post. With the recent high-profile cyber attack against the New York Times , purportedly by the Syrian Electronic Army, and the subsequent hacking of Syrian DNS servers, […]

Cuban Internet Update

On Tuesday, Fidel Castro turned 87 years old and an article this week about his birthday states that he surfs the Internet from Cuba for “personality profiles and maps” among other things. But at US$4.50/hour, the Internet is still out of reach for average Cubans, despite recent developments that have brought another provider to the island. Internet in Cuba It […]

Myanmar Internet Disruptions

Before Egypt became the country known for shutting off its international Internet during anti-government protests in January 2011, it was Myanmar that was known for infamously shutting down its Internet connections for two weeks following anti-government protests which turned violent in September 2007.During those protests, as the government began cracking down on anti-government demonstrations, protestors began […]

Tension in Turkey

We’ve been asked all day to comment on the potential for Internet shutdowns in Turkey.    At this point, Renesys observes no significant changes in Turkey’s Internet routing, no significant outages affecting the routing of Turkey’s networks, no reduction in the number of inbound active measurements to Turkish hosts within the country from our infrastructure […]

‘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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