Syria back online after latest Internet outage

Internet access is back in Syria after a more than 19 hour outage that started on Tuesday. But what caused the Internet to go down?

Akamai

Syria is back online after an Internet outage cut it off from the rest of the online world on Tuesday.

Internet monitoring company Renesys updated its latest blog post on Wednesday, saying that "Syrian Internet has returned." The outage itself lasted 19.5 hours from Tuesday to Wednesday.

A new graph tweeted by content delivery network Akamai shows a huge spike in traffic to Syria, indicating that the Internet is flowing once again.

Syria Digital Reports earlier confirmed the news by tweeting that it received reports that Internet connectivity was returning.

This latest outage marks the third time Syria has lost Internet access since the beginning of the Syrian uprising. And just what caused Tuesday's outage?

The Syrian government has pointed the finger at a bad fiber-optic cable. Syria's state-run media blamed a "fault in optical fiber cables" and said the problem would be fixed "as soon as possible," BBC News reported on Wednesday.

But at least one expert isn't buying that story. David Belson, a product line director at content delivery network Akamai, called that explanation "unlikely," according to the BBC.

"Our monitoring shows that Syria's international internet connectivity is through at least four providers, and published submarine cable maps show connectivity through three active cables," Belson said. "As such, the failure of a single optical cable is unlikely to cause a complete Internet outage for the country."

Syrian citizens were last cut off from the Internet in November 2012 , an outage that lasted three days. The government blamed that one on "terrorists." But Internet experts believe the government itself was behind that shutdown, the BBC noted.

The latest incident triggered fears inside Syria on Tuesday. Previous Internet outages have come in advance of new military offensives from the government as it battles rebel forces trying to take control of key cities.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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