No turning back: Russia activates Crimean cable

The Crimean peninsula depends critically on the Ukrainian mainland for infrastructure services: power, water, and Internet. That has begun to change in the last few days, as Crimean ISPs began receiving their first Internet services over the newly constructed Kerch Strait Cable, linking Crimea with the Russian mainland. The message: there is no turning back […]

Serving the Global Consumer: Learning from WhatsApp

The $19B WhatsApp acquisition brings Facebook what they desperately need: 250M daily users in high-growth international mobile markets, many of them in the key under-20 demographic. But how do you design a service delivery infrastructure that can reliably reach the far corners of the earth to keep all these mobile eyeballs connected to each other? […]

Google DNS Departs Brazil Ahead of New Law

Update (4:20PM, 22 Nov 2013): In response to recent NSA spying allegations, Brazil is pressing ahead with a new law to require Internet companies like Google to store data about Brazilian users inside Brazil, where it will be subject to local privacy laws. The proposed legislation could be signed into law as early as the […]

Submarine Cables Add Resilience But Paths Still Matter

Last month, I had the honor of opening the second day of the Submarine Networks World 2013 conference at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Using a handful of recent examples, I demonstrated that, while new submarine cables certainly contribute to physical diversity and hence increased Internet resiliency, cables alone do not necessarily reduce traffic […]

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 […]

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 […]

Gulf States Turn to Iran, Russia for Internet

Sometimes, it takes a real disaster to create something genuinely new. March 2013 was a month of disasters in the Middle Eastern, South Asian, and East African Internet, with major submarine cable cuts affecting SMW3, SMW4, IMEWE, EIG, SEACOM, and TE-North.

One of the “genuinely new” Internet traffic paths that emerged in response is a counterintuitive terrestrial route, linking the ancient Indian Ocean trade empire of Oman with the Internet markets of Western Europe, by way of Iran, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Caucasus. As we’ll see, its effects are now being felt across the region, from Pakistan, to Gulf states like Bahrain and Oman, to Kenya.

epeg-homepage.png The EPEG (Europe-Persia Express Gateway) consortium was actually born in June 2011, as an alternative to the congested, politically uncertain Suez transit corridor. EPEG links together existing fiber routes from the Iranian, Azeri, and Russian incumbents, connected to Cable and Wireless’s network to approximate a Great Circle route to Frankfurt. With the aid of one final submarine hop across the Strait of Hormuz to Muscat, EPEG promised to deliver a major new low-latency, high-capacity terrestrial route to carry the Gulf states’ traffic to Europe.

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Intrigue Surrounds SMW4 Cut

It has been a rough few weeks for the global Internet, given numerous submarine cable failures and the largest DDOS attack ever reported. While we’re hard-pressed to find evidence of the purported global Internet slowdown due to the DDOS attack, the dramatic impacts of yesterday’s SMW4 submarine cable cut were profound. Recent reports that the cable break was the result of sabotage make the incident even more intriguing. In this blog, we detail what happened to some of the providers in four countries along the route of the cable: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and India.

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Bangladesh Connects via India

The Internet of Bangladesh has been connected to the world by a single submarine cable, Sea-Me-We 4 (SMW4), since this 18,800 kilometer-long optical-fiber system made its landing at Cox’s Bazar in 2006. However, in the nearly seven years since SMW4′s activation, national Internet outages have plagued Bangladesh with some regularity. When their portion of this system is sabotaged, suffers a failure or is down for maintenance, virtually all Internet bandwidth for the 7th most populous country in the world disappears, forcing local providers to fall back to slow and expensive satellite services or to simply wait for restoration.However, recent national outages due to planned SMW4 maintenance have revealed that some Bangladeshi providers have now activated a long-awaited second connection to the Internet via a terrestrial link to India. We’ll examine this new development here and highlight those providers who can now offer fault-tolerant Internet service for the first time in Bangladesh. India-Bangladesh.jpg

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Mystery Cable Activated in Cuba

Recent developments captured in a new blog here. (January 22, 2013)

In February 2011, the first submarine cable connecting the island nation of Cuba to the global internet (by way of Venezuela) landed on Siboney beach, Santiago de Cuba. In the two years since, the fate of the cable has been a mystery for Cuba observers. In the past week, our global monitoring system has picked up indications that this cable has finally been activated, although in a rather curious way, as we explain below. alba_cable.png

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