Internet Disruption Report: May 2020

Another entry from the better late than never department…

The conclusion of last month’s post noted “There was a noticeable absence of government-directed Internet disruptions in April. That is not to say that there were none, but those that did occur were not significant enough to be observed through publicly available tools.” This trend, which had also been observed over the prior few months, continued into May. (Unfortunately, this is not the case for June, but that will be covered in next month’s post.)

In May, a power outage in Venezuela once again disrupted Internet connectivity across the country, and a cyclone impacted connectivity in Bhutan. Fiber and submarine cable cuts (and repairs) caused Internet disruptions across multiple countries, as did unspecified network issues.

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Internet Disruption Report: August 2019

The August 1994 issue of WIRED Magazine hardly hinted at the coming ubiquity of the Internet, featuring articles on CD-ROM games and reviews of the Apple Newton. Commercial Internet services were very much in their infancy at the time, with the issue containing just a few advertisements for nascent Internet Service Providers, such as the one shown below. Twenty-five years ago, Internet disruptions were more likely to be caused by overloaded modem banks or congestion at one of the few peering points available at the time.

Advertisement for Internet Service Provider "The Little Garden", scanned from the August 1994 issue of WIRED magazine.
The Little Garden was sold in 1996 to Best Internet Communications, which was acquired by Verio in 1999, which then became part of NTT in 2000.

Today, Internet connectivity is significantly more ubiquitous, faster and less expensive (in most places), and generally reliable. With increased Internet availability and usage, however, disruptions become more noticeable, and impact a significantly larger population of users. In August, we observed Internet disruptions around the world due to power outages, national exams, and network issues. Several government-directed disruptions were widely reported as well, but were not easily observable in monitoring tools.

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Internet Disruption Report: May 2019

Welcome to the first monthly Internet Disruption Report, covering May 2019. Over the course of the month, we observed Internet disruptions caused by damaged submarine and terrestrial cables, likely issues with satellite connectivity, and problems caused by weather events. In addition, there were also a number of notable disruptions observed during the month with other or unknown root causes.

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