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: April 2020

From the “better late than never department”…

With nearly the whole world under one form or another of stay-at-home orders in April, anyone who could turned to the Internet to work, learn, relax, or maintain social connections. The increased traffic raised concerns about whether the Internet would catastrophically fail, but the good news is that the Internet did not catastrophically fail, in large part due to its network-of-networks architecture. That architecture meant that the disruptions that did occur were, for the most part, limited in time and scope.

In April, the notable Internet disruptions reviewed below were caused by cable/fiber issues and network problems, as well as one where the cause was unknown.

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Internet Disruption Report: December 2019

Internet-related media coverage in December tends to be e-commerce related, with discussions about how retail sites performed (or failed to) on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, followed by complaints about problems downloading software updates or games, and registering new connected devices after the holiday presents are unwrapped. However, when Internet disruptions occur, that coverage shifts to highlight the problems caused by the disruptions.

This final Internet Disruption Report post for 2019 is a long one, covering disruptions caused by a DDoS attack, power outages, cable/fiber/network issues, and government direction. Some countries make multiple appearances in this month’s report, and some have been featured in multiple reports throughout the year. In addition to observed disruptions, we also review Russia’s reported Internet disconnection test, as well as a few additional related observations.

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Internet Disruption Report: November 2019

In November, many of us in the United States think about the Internet in terms of having to fix the connectivity problems at a relative’s house while visiting them for Thanksgiving, or using it to escape from those same relatives for a few minutes by browsing social media or watching a video. However, across the rest of the world, the connectivity problems seen in November weren’t the kind a quick router reboot would solve. Blackouts caused Internet disruptions in CuraƧao and Venezuela, fiber/cable issues caused problems in Haiti, Venezuela, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia, and routing issues disrupted connectivity in Indonesia and Ecuador. However, the most significant Internet disruptions in November were week-long government directed shutdowns in Iraq and Iran.

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