Internet outage in Lebanon continues into second day

Posted by Andree Toonk - July 6, 2012 - BGP instability - No Comments

It’s not often we see large-scale outages such as the one that currently affect Internet users in Lebanon where Internet access has been severely damaged for over 36 hours now. The problems started on July 4th, 16:16 (UTC), which is 19:16 Lebanese time. The cause of the outage according to the Telecoms Ministry in Lebanon is a fiber cut on the IMEWE Submarine cable, in the waters north of Egypt. As Lebanon relies almost exclusively on this IMEWE connection, the outage has affected most of the Lebanese networks.

We normally see about 860 prefixes for IP addresses in Lebanon. The diagram below shows that this was reduced by about 90% at 16:16 (UTC), leaving only about 85 prefixes reachable. Networks relying on Liban Teleccom (AS42020) , the largest provider in Lebanon, are most severely affected.
In the hours after some of these networks were restored as they were rerouted via Satellite ISP AS30721 SATGATE.

At the time of writing about 60% if the Lebanese prefixes are reachable, which leaves 40% unreachable. The prefixes that are reachable will likely experience slower connections then normally, as they now rely on lower capacity connections. This report indicates that the current Internet capacity for Lebanon is reduced to 3Gb/s only.

For Lebanon this is the second country wide outage this week. On Monday July 2nd planned maintenance work on the same submarine cable resulted in a 2,5 hour outage for Lebanon. Luckily large-scale country wide outages are rare. We reported earlier about large outage in Egypt and Australia. In the case of Lebanon limiting the reliance on this single point of failure should improve the uptime of the networks significantly.

Let’s hope for everyone in Lebanon that this outage will be resolved soon!

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