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: March 2020

Although Internet disruptions have always been problematic for affected users, March 2020 was arguably the month where they became of ever greater global concern as so many shifted to working and learning from home due to COVID-19 driven lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders. The Internet has become a lifeline, supporting communication with loved ones, enabling online education, and facilitating days full of videoconferencing in place of in-person meetings.

While this blog has never claimed to be exhaustive in its coverage of Internet disruptions, it has endeavored to catalog the various causes of those disruptions, and most months see quite a few documented causes. Interestingly, March only saw documented disruptions due to power outages and cable/fiber issues, with a couple of additional due to possible network issues. (There were, of course, a number of other observed disruptions, but root causes were unable to be identified or confirmed through research or social media outreach.)

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Internet Disruption Report: February 2020

A year ago, in my “Last Month in Internet Intelligence: February 2019” post for Oracle’s Internet Intelligence blog, I noted that “February was a surprisingly quiet month for Internet disruptions.” Interestingly, that appeared to hold true a year later, with fewer major disruptions observed than in prior months. In addition, the disruptions covered this month had a more limited set of causes — a DDoS attack, network maintenance, and cable/fiber issues — no power outages in Venezuela or wide-scale Internet shutdowns in the Middle East as have been seen in prior months.

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Internet Disruption Report: January 2020

January 2020 brought the start of both a new year and a new decade, not to mention the continued deployment of satellite constellations that will be used to provide broadband Internet connectivity around the world. While space-based Internet connectivity holds promise for the future, Internet connectivity delivered through terrestrial and submarine infrastructure saw its fair share of problems throughout the month. In January, Internet disruptions caused by earthquakes, power outages, network maintenance, government direction, and cable cuts were observed.

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Internet Disruption Report: June 2019

Simply put, June was a pretty rough month for the global Internet. In addition to all of the usual small/transient issues, there were quite a few significant disruptions that occurred over the course of the month. This month’s post covers government-mandated Internet shutdowns due to political unrest and national exams, disruptions due to cable damage, power outage-related Internet outages, two large route leaks, and a couple of localized disruptions (for good measure).

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