Indonesia Hijacks the World

Yesterday, Indosat, one of Indonesia’s largest telecommunications providers, leaked large portions of the global routing table multiple times over a two-hour period. This means that, in effect, Indosat claimed that it “owned” many of the world’s networks. Once someone makes such an assertion, typically via an honest mistake in their routing policy, the only question […]

Beware the Ides of March: Subsea Cable Cut Trend Continues

Earlier this month, the International Cable Protection Committee, a submarine cable advisory group, held their annual plenary in Dubai. One question that they could have considered is: Why do so many submarine cables get cut in the February/March timeframe? In this blog, we’ll look back at the last three years and the submarine cable industry’s […]

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 […]

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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SMW4 Cut Shakes Up South Asia

Bangladesh could learn a lesson from Pakistan about building a diverse and more survivable connection to the Internet. The two countries had very different experiences as a result of a recent submarine cable cut. Where Pakistan’s PTCL and Transworld have spent years building diversity into their International connectivity strategy, in Bangladesh the story is very different.

At 08:41:51 UTC on Wednesday, 6 June 2012, the Sea-Me-We-4 submarine cable suffered a break 60 kilometers from the coast of Singapore, its eastern terminus. While the cause of the failure has not been publicly released, the resulting impact on South Asian Internet transit has been fascinating to follow.


In the past week, it has been widely reported in the news that this incident has served to cripple the Internet for the 158 million people in Bangladesh. However as seen in our Market Intelligence product and our various data sources, the impact of this outage has been much more widespread than publicly reported, as providers in the region scramble to find alternatives. We’ll consider some of the resulting changes in this blog.

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