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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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  • Who will benefit? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @07:39AM (#22281250)
    The question I have not seen posed yet. Who will benefit? Who will benefit of this outage? Who would benefit from sealing off Egypt and other countries in the Middle-East? The Chinese? Hardly. The Brazilians? Hardly. The Vietnamese? Doubtfully. The Finns? Doubtful too. Ok, I'm at a loss. Wonder if anyone can come up with brighter guesses?
  • Re:Who will benefit? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HumanEmulator ( 1062440 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @07:55AM (#22281296)

    Or does someone benefit because they now have the ability to poke through all the traffic that is now being rerouted through their borders?

  • Re:Who will benefit? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @07:58AM (#22281306)
    well, if you wanted to put a tap on a communication line I should think an outage would be very useful for you - it would give you time to install the tap with no one noticing. Otherwise installing a tap would be an extremely slow process, and one which potentially could be detected.
  • by Paktu ( 1103861 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @09:27AM (#22281614)
    I'm posting this from Dubai- near Media City/Internet City for those who are familiar. Certain sites seem to work pretty well- Fark for some reason loads very quickly. Other sites (including Slashdot) are about as fast as AOL in 1994. Speeds seem to not always correlate to usage levels; around noon it's usually not terrible but late at night browsing is almost impossible. Anyone else care to share their own observations?
  • Holy crap! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rindeee ( 530084 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @09:47AM (#22281702)
    The conspiracy theorists are coming out of the woodwork on this one. It's an anchor drag folks. The last thing any 'conspirator' wants is comms to be cut off. Quite the opposite in fact.
  • Re:taps (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yidele ( 947452 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @10:14AM (#22281820) Journal
    This isn't an analog line, genius. The traffic of interest is in the client/ tributary payload, so the logical place to put a tap is where the container terminates or where it is switched. that means a telecom data center, not the bottom of the ocean. Additionally you needen't "splice" into live media ( thereby causing noticeable loss of traffic and noticably increased signal attenuation afterwards) - telecom transmission technology allows switching to protection at speeds 50 milisec, which is not noticable to human hearing...anyway, the data of interest would be on an encrypted data, not voice channel. 80GB is a lot of voice traffic, to sort this out in realtime you'd need a pretty stout set of telecomm eqpt. Consider that a single voice channel is 64kbps, also the fact that voice traffic ( if going over tdm and not voip) is multiplexed into sdh most likely carried over dwdm/wdm. A single e1 ( 2 mb/s) carries up to 32 voice channels, there are 70 e1 worth of payload in an stm1 , which is 155 mb/sec. How are you going to monitor this many discrete ( and multiplexed, encoded ) signals at once? do you even realize how much traffic that is? don't forget that sizable portion of voice goes over data ntwks as voip, and you can have ip using bridged ethernet over sdh, ima over multiple e1, mpls, atm or directly on top of sdh ( short list, there are many more possibilties)... anyway, if you want to listen in, you'd better do it somewhere you can actually do something with that data. having said all that, i think this is a good low tech way to test their readiness....
  • Re:Holy crap! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by yahyamf ( 751776 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:48PM (#22283692)
    An anchor drag accross two cables in the Mediterranean is quite plausible, but what about the third one off the coast of Dubai in less than a week? That's not even the same sea.

    It might just be a cover up for incompetency. but I don't buy the three accidental anchor drags story.

    There were similar outages due to supposedly broken cables a year (or two?) ago in the Indian ocean, which affected UAE Internet services. Those cables were dozens of kilometers apart too.

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