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Internet Disruptions in Q4 2014

Internet disruptions are still a frustrating reality in many regions across the globe. The most common types of disruptions generally fall into three categories: accidental (backhoes or ship anchors severing buried fiber), natural (hurricanes, earthquakes), or political (government shutdowns in response to protest). As a provider of customer content across the globe, Akamai is in a unique position to monitor traffic levels in each country or region. The following events are highlights of global disruptions that affected traffic levels across the fourth quarter of 2014.


On October 28, 2014, Internet traffic to Yemen was severely disrupted from 5:00 AM UTC through 8:30 AM UTC. Over the course of the disruption, traffic was down to less than one percent of normal. The disruption followed three days of violence in Yemen, though it is not clear whether the two events were linked.



On November 1, 2014, Bangladesh had intermittent traffic disruptions from 5:30 AM UTC until 5:15 PM UTC. Following an initial traffic drop of 35 percent, the decline worsened throughout the day. The disruption followed a countrywide power outage that affected millions of citizens. The power outage was reportedly caused by an issue in the electricity transmission line between India and Bangladesh, which took over twelve hours to resolve.



On November 11, 2014, Internet traffic to Turkmenistan dropped nearly to zero between 8:10 PM UTC and 9:55 PM UTC. The outage was the result of the country's sole gateway and Internet service provider, Turkmen Telecom, going down. Although there are no more specific details to report, Dyn Research also noted the outage.



On December 19, 2014h, Iraq experienced Internet traffic disruptions between 6:00 PM UTC and 7:50 PM UTC (although initial recovery began around 7:20 PM UTC). At the beginning of the disruption, Akamai recorded a 50 percent traffic drop. Dyn Research reported that the major Iraqi ISP, Earthlink, lost connection to IQ Networks during the disruption. IQ Networks is a major Kurdish ISP that provides connectivity for around three-fourths of Iraqi networks.

A second disruption was observed by Dyn Research on October 14, 2014, where 41 percent of Iraq's Internet went down due to another IQ Networks failure.


North Korea

Throughout late December, North Korea suffered a series of widely reported Internet outages. On December 22, 2014, one of the longest outages lasted nearly 10 hours. The outage began just after 4:00 PM UTC and lasted until nearly 2:00 AM UTC on December 23. Throughout the course of the disruption, Akamai traffic to North Korea dropped to zero six times. Tweets from BGPmon and Dyn Research corroborate Akamai's observations that all of North Korea's networks were unreachable at those times. Connectivity remained poor for the rest of December 23rd, including a one hour outage between 6:25 AM UTC and 7:25 AM UTC.

On December 27, 2014, Akamai saw traffic drop to zero again between the hours of 10:30 AM and 3:30 PM UTC. Traffic continued to be spotty throughout the rest of the day.


For more information on the fourth quarter's connectivity disruptions, download Akamai's free State of the Internet: Q4 2014 Report.