Egypt Returns to the Internet
After a week long Internet outage following widespread social unrest and political protest, Egyptian Internet traffic returned to near normal levels this morning at approximately 5:30am EST.
A graph of Egyptian Internet traffic from the vantage of carriers around the world both today and throughout the week below. As in previous posts, I use data from ATLAS anonymous carrier traffic engineering statistics.
A cursory survey of Egyptian Internet infrastructure shows all major providers and web sites are once again reachable from the rest of the Internet.
While other countries, including Iran and Myanmar, experienced telecommunication disruptions following social unrest in the past, the Egyptian outage represents a new Internet milestone. For the region, Egypt enjoys one of the largest and most robust Internet infrastructures with four major national providers and a hundred or more smaller consumer and web hosting providers. Put simply, we have never seen a country as connected as Egypt completely lose Internet connectivity for such an extended period. Also as a sign of the growing importance of social media, and web sites, it is telling that Egyptian telecommunications block largely focused on the Internet — mobile and fixed line service returned earlier in the week.
Today, the Internet is as an integral part the Egyptian economy and society. Unlike periods as recent as a decade ago, governments of technically developed countries cannot disrupt telecommunication without incurring significant economic cost and social / political pressures.
I’ll update this blog and twitter (@labovit) as we get more information.