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Communications Networking The Internet Hardware

The Effects of the Fibre Outage Throughout the Mediterranean 101

Umar Kalim writes "Analysts have been studying the effects of the fibre outage throughout the Mediterranean in terms of network performance, by examining the changes in packet losses, latencies and throughput. We initially discussed the outage yesterday. 'It is interesting that some countries such as Pakistan were mainly unaffected, despite the impact on neighboring countries such as India. This contrasts dramatically to the situation in June - July 2005, when due to a fibre cut of SEAMEWE3 off Karachi, Pakistan lost all terrestrial Internet connectivity which resulted, in many cases, in a complete 12 day outage of services. This is a tribute to the increased redundancy of international fibre connectivity installed for Pakistan in the last few years.'"
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The Effects of the Fibre Outage Throughout the Mediterranean

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 03, 2008 @10:24AM (#22281866)
    In Dubai at the moment. I'm using the Etisalat ADSL connection. I believe the Internet City region is routed differently. As I recall, internet usage there was unaffected the last time we had a damaged cable.

    Slashdot speeds seem to be the same as ever for me. On the other hand, my WoW latency went from 500ms some very strange behavior. When I log in, it's at 300ms...and slowly over 5 minutes, it builds up to something like 5000ms, and then disconnects me.

    Filesharing over Gnutella2 is down to 4-5 kbps per file max ( as opposed to earlier speeds of 50-60 kbps ). Multiple file downloading brings everything down to 0-1 kbps.

    Haven't tried BitTorrent.
  • by RealGrouchy ( 943109 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @11:34AM (#22282248)

    if a country like Pakistan (and i live in Karachi, Pakistan) can work almost unaffected (we did had an outage for 3-6 ours in some parts including our part of the city) how can India, which has the biggest outsourcing and call center businesses running can't do the same...
    FTAS, it seems fairly clear that Pakistan has had a major outage before. So it would seem natural to conclude that Pakistan learned from Pakistan's outage, but India didn't.

    Now, India can perhaps add more lines, or it might decide that additional redundancy is not worth the expense, or isn't a priority.

    - RG>
  • by anticypher ( 48312 ) <> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @12:17PM (#22282554) Homepage
    Your ignorance stems from lack of knowledge, because you aren't looking at real maps, just some graphics made by someone with absolutely no knowledge of the topic who had to make something, by deadline. The telegeography maps are the worst, it's as if they've gone to great lengths to get it as wrong as possible.

    There are at least 60 separate landing spots on the east coast of north america, from Miami up into Newfoundland. All those cables that look like they go to NY actually land at various spots on long island and in NJ, but then get hauled overland into the data centers in the NY area.

    There is as much redundancy and diversity as could be engineered in, given the budget constraints that the fibre system has to some day earn a profit. Undersea topography plays a big part as well, certain parts of the ocean just can't be used to safely lay fibre upon. There is also a need to avoid busy ports and shipping lanes. All taken into consideration when financing a US$1Billion cable.

    I already posted in a previous thread about the Suez Canal, where many /.ers thought the fibres went along the bottom of the canal, because that is what some low-res graphics seemed to show. The reality is all the fibres that hit Egypt do so away from Suez, travel overland, then hit the Red Sea at various diverse points. It is much easier and cheaper to put in overland fibre systems, and certainly easier to maintain by sending a truck full of engineers out rather than wait for a repair ship to be scheduled. Undersea fibres are also much cheaper for shorter hauls with more landings, because of all the power requirements for repeaters.

    the AC
  • Re:Who will benefit? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Oktober Sunset ( 838224 ) <> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @01:59PM (#22283286)
    I think we already established in a previous story on this that the US has a submarine with modifications especially for for cable tapping. []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:01PM (#22283300)
    While it is certainly true that India can use more fibre (The government, businesses et al. are notoriously slow on the uptake here - circa 10 years ago, the entire bandwidth in the country was under 1Mbps and tracerouting a local friend usually involved a trip to the US (MCI)), it is quite inaccurate to state that Indian Internet has been brought to a standstill. VSNL, the sole player until a few years ago is completely fine as it does not use any of the affected cables (FLAG, SEA-ME-WE) as it has its own by way of its subsidiary, Teleglobe. Bharti Airtel is suffering from a significant cut in capacity, but is managing. The main affected parties appears to be Reliance which owns FLAG telecom, Satyam (whose connections are usually so bad that its users probably haven't noticed much of a difference) and a few dedicated leased line providers.

    All the above companies loathe to work with each other. India established NIXI (National Internet Exchange) a few years ago, which peers ISPs from around the country. I have no idea whether they have stepped into this issue.
  • by anticypher ( 48312 ) <> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @08:06PM (#22286122) Homepage
    Yeah, those last two sentences don't stand on their own. They are two separate things, each needs more explanation.

    Over land, rights of way can be quite expensive. Under sea, once away from a coastline, a fibre doesn't require any property rights payments.

    Over land, fibre runs are not very well protected in some areas, often attracting the evil backhoe or other dangerous mechanica. What makes fibre on land cheap is the ability to put in easily to maintain repeaters and dispersion compensators, and electricity can be obtained locally. Repairs are also relatively cheap and rapid.

    Under water and once away from the immediate coastline, there isn't much dangerous to fibres except boat anchors, and the occasional earthquake caused rockfall. Fibre runs, still need active electronics every 80 to 300 Kms to boost the signal, shape it, or compensate for dispersion. To power electronics far away out to sea, the only place to put electricity is at the landing point. The longest Pacific Ocean fibres require something like 25,000 volts at 10 amps from each end to power the most distant repeaters. That means the first sections of a fibre support cladding need to carry huge currents and have large dielectrics to prevent arc-overs.

    If you can build additional landing points to provide electricity, you can build cheaper fibres. With the most recent advances in optic fibre quality, a run up to 200 Kms doesn't even need repeaters, some manufacturers are claiming 320 Kms without a repeater with the most modern optics powering the signal. That makes short run underwater fibres about the same cost with less risks of cuts.

    the AC

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker