Monday, February 4, 2008

Conspiracy Theorists on the Internet Outage

Iran has been completely cut off. Israel, Iraq and Lebanon are not affected at all.
With several undersea cables cut within days, the rest of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia including India and Pakistan are having serious Internet problems. Is all of this just a coincidence? These questions are being raised in various ways and reported by Jerusalem Post and CNN on the causes of this massive outage. Many find it difficult to accept the ostensible reason: Ships dragging anchors cut all of these cables. It seems to be too much of a coincidence. The conspiracy theorists of all stripes are having a field day while others are calling for a serious investigation into the causes to prevent such outages in the future.
Regarding the latest status in Pakistan, blogger Masud Reza is reporting as follows:
"PTCL and TWA-1 both have arranged for additional capacity on SMW4 segment 1 from SingTel. PTCL has successfully brought an STM-4 and three STM-1s in operation whereas TWA1 has been able to acquire four STM-1 circuits from SingTel.
So for PTCL users, things should be near to normal now and for TWA1 things should improve dramatically."
With increasig dependence of the world on the Internet connectivity, such incidents of outages take on special strategic significance. In some instances, Internet connections represent the lifelines of global companies with operations spread over Middle East, Asia and Latin America. World trade and global investments also take a beating in the absence of the Internet. Globalization, whether you like it or hate it, relies greatly on the Internet connectivity. Regardless of the conspiracy theories and theorists, there is clearly a need to understand and improve the reliability of the Internet.

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