It has become an annual tradition at Renesys to provide a year-end review of how the Internet providers at the top of our Market Intelligence global rankings fared over the previous year. The rapid and continuous evolution of the Internet’s structure and performance remains a huge blind spot for most enterprises, even those critically dependent […]
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 […]
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 […]
It is an annual tradition at Renesys to provide a year-end review of how the Internet providers at the top of our Market Intelligence global AS rankings fared over the previous year. The Internet remains a huge blind spot for many organizations that are buying Internet access. Market Intelligence provides the insight into who the leaders in the Internet transit marketplace are today and how they have changed over time. Back in 2008, we chose to look at the 13 providers that spent at least some time in the Top Ten that year,hence the name “Baker’s Dozen“. We looked at the top players again in 2009, 2010 and 2011. A lot has changed over the years and for 2012, we welcome two new members to this exclusive club,PCCW and XO. As predicted last year, we also say good-bye to a declining AT&T and Savvis. While AT&T’s departure from the top of the global stage may be surprising to some, Savvis really hasn’t left as it is now part of CenturyLink, which also owns Qwest. And while Qwest did leave our top global rankings in 2011, they have now returned as part of a reinvigorated CenturyLink.
As you read this blog, keep in mind that all of the rankings we discuss are relative to IPv4, the Internet protocol carrying over 99% of all Internet traffic. (For example, compare total traffic to IPv6 traffic at the very busy Amsterdam Internet Exchange.) While we did also review IPv6 rankings last year, so little has changed that we’ll just refer you to that blog or, for more current information, our Market Intelligence product offering which covers both IPv4 and IPv6 in detail. So let’s dive in and highlight a few of the trends and changes we observed in 2012.
Undersea cables are expensive to install. But if you’re an Asian Internet hub trying to connect to other Asian Internet hubs across un-cabled waters, what else can you do?
Well, one alternative we see is Internet Providers heading to California, as many Asian providers opt for Internet paths out of Asia to the west coast of the US, and then back to Asia. These tortuous routes, aptly called hair-pinning (observe their supple shapes), may be cost-effective initially, but generate latency, which can be a problem for some businesses (and their end users).
As of approximately 20:46 UTC, four hours after this blog was first published, Noor started disappearing from the Internet. They are completely unavailable at present as shown below
As we observed last week, Egypt took the unprecedented step of withdrawing from the Internet. The government didn’t simply block Twitter and Facebook (an increasingly common tactic of regimes under fire), but rather they apparently ordered most major Egyptian providers to cease service via their international providers, effectively removing Egyptian IP space from the global Internet and cutting off essentially all access to the outside world via this medium. The only way out now would be via traditional phone calls, assuming they left that system up, or via satellite. We thought the Internet ban would be temporary, but much to our surprise, the situation has not changed. One of the few Egyptian providers reachable today, four days after the start of the crisis, is The Noor Group. In this blog, we’ll take a quick look at them and some of the businesses they serve.
Thanks to all for great comments and questions. Please see below for latest updates on the ongoing Egyptian Internet blackout, including some trace-based analysis and a few words about neighboring countries. After this morning we’ll be closing this post out, and looking for the restoration. Hopefully sooner than later. –jim
Confirming what a few have reported this evening: in an action unprecedented in Internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the Internet. Critical European-Asian fiber-optic routes through Egypt appear to be unaffected for now. But every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world. Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr, and all their customers and partners are, for the moment, off the air.
The view from seat 22A
Long ago in a faraway Internet backbone galaxy
You remember 2005, don’t you? Back then you could book wholesale IP transit for about $15 (€18 in Europe) per megabit a month. Data volume commits were much smaller then, as little as 1Gb. Those were the good old days. Today, traffic volumes have increased by as much as 10 times, yet many providers have seen little growth in total IP transit revenues.
Think you’re too busy to blog? Think again. Or just ask your boss. After more than 100,000 miles in coach class this year (so far), my backbone may be aching, but the IP backbone market is as agile and dynamic as ever. Sales opportunities abound, but to take advantage, you’d better be savvy, and just a little cagey.
So, as our gleaming 777 departs Kuala Lumpur, I’ll just relax in my fully-reclined, ultra-deluxe coach seat and tell you what this globetrotting sales guy has seen, heard and figured out.
Two new trends
As if the global financial crisis weren’t enough, beleaguered NSPs have to rejigger their business plans (yet again) to accommodate encroachment from brazen usurpers and ever more competitive pricing:
- Large eyeball networks (5 million+ subscribers) are selling paid peering to the largest content providers.
- There are big price reductions in IP transit all over eastern Europe – now close to parity with western Europe.
I just spent a very pleasant 3 days attending NANOG 45 in the Dominican Republic. The whole thing was a whirlwind of peering, technical presentations, and catching up with the people who keep the North American parts of the internet backbone alive. What can I say? The DR is overflowing with friendly people, great food, warm breezes (82F in Santo Domingo, versus 0F at my house in New Hampshire), and very decent Presidente beer. Very conducive to thinking the big thoughts. The trick is to write them down …