Gwadar Runs Dry

Ankara Kaur Dam: Gwadar’s water supply tapers off to a trickle

Balochistan’s winter capital’s only source of water has dried up. DESIGN: MUHAMMAD SUHAIB

QUETTA: Gwadar, the city of countless promises, seems to have shed its promising epithet.

The sole source of water supply to the inhabitants of Gwadar has dried up — completely.

The Ankara Kaur Dam – built in 1993 and stretching over an area of 17,000 acres – has dried up due to massive siltation. The crisis worsened in 2006 when the population increased in the winter capital of Balochistan.

Gwadar town and Jiwani, constituting 50% of the total population of Gwadar district, rely entirely on the Ankara Kaur Dam for all their water needs while residents of the other three coastal towns of Pasni, Ormara and Sunt Sar are dependent upon seasonal rivers.

The dam – a water reservoir on the Ankara River near Gwadar – is facing siltation issues 20 years after its construction. The dam was built with international assistance to augment drinking water for the residents at a cost of Rs560 million.

As water shortage creeps in, people are forced to buy water from tankers — a water tanker is being sold at a staggering cost which, too, is brought from hundreds of miles away.

The severe water crisis has fizzled out the chief minister’s ambitious plan for the city which hogged international limelight for its unique deep-sea port.

Gwadar Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sohail Baloch has said that the current population of Gwadar and Jiwani is around 0.2 million and the daily water requirement is 3.5 million gallons. Official data suggests that the port city is supplied only 2 million gallons of water every four days. He told The Express Tribune that authorities have planned a few schemes on an “emergency basis” to ameliorate the situation.

“The Sunt Sar Water Supply Scheme is being launched at a cost of Rs350 million and will be completed in two months,” said Baloch. Under the scheme, 10,000 gallons of water per hour will be provided but experts say that this will not be sufficient to meet the full demand of the local population, let alone the needs of the commercial establishments and the port.

The DC pointed out that plans to connect Gwadar with Mirani Dam in Kech District were also in the pipeline — a project which will cost an estimated Rs4 billion. “If this plan materialises, the Mirani Dam will be able to provide a minimum of 5 million gallons of water per day.”

Earlier, Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani had said that his government was “serious” about the Gwadar water issue and is considering providing water from the Mirani Dam but certain political parties raised objections to this plan.

Meanwhile, Balochistan National Party (BNP- Awami) leader Kahuda Babar from Gwadar told The Express Tribune that life at the 110-120 km long coastline of Gwadar is directly affected by the shortage of drinking water. “The immediate solution is that the government should make a desalination plant in the Gwadar Industrial Estate. That will be able to give around 0.2 million gallons of water per day,” said Babar.

But residents of Gwadar do not seem keen to wait and see if the government will fulfil its promises.

An All Parties Conference (APC) has organised a protest camp to highlight this issue. They will stage a demonstration in front of the DC’s office on Saturday, take out a rally on July 8 and observe a wheel-jam strike on July 12.

A local resident, Hafeez Dashti, says water tankers are not a permanent solution. “The Balochistan Development Authority (BDA) was supposed to install a desalination plant in Gwadar by December 2010. But work at the site has stopped,” he said.

For decades now the population of Gwadar has remained more or less static since the 1960s — additional population has been forced to move to other areas of Karachi, Gulf, Muscat and other parts of Mekran in search of drinking water, says Ilahi Bakhsh, a senior resident of Gwadar.

If Gwadar is to become the city of countless promises for the world, it must first be able to retain its own people — without water, Gwadar is nothing but a ghost town.

Published in The Express Tribune

Syrian TV Aired Confessions from Two Turkish-Trained and Equipped Terrorists/Smugglers

Two Terrorists Confess to Smuggling Weapons and Gunmen, Receiving Weapon Training from Turkish Security Forces

Jul 08, 2012

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – Terrorists Mustafa Sharrouf and Sobhi Aswad confessed to smuggling gunmen and various types of weapons from Turkey to Syria, and that one of them received weapon training from Turkish security forces at the so-called refugee camps.

In confessions broadcast by the Syrian TV on Saturday, Sharrouf, a 22 year-old Idleb native, said that he and his cousin Alaa Sharrouf and Samer Bakkoure smuggle weapons from Turkey to Syria and smuggling people into Turkey from Syria.

Sharrouf said that a man called Mohammad al-Tabak asked his cousin to provide him with weapons, so they sold him 12 pump-action shotguns with 18 boxes or rounds, and 11 PKC machineguns with its ammo.

Later, while on a smuggling run to bring more weapons for al-Tabak, the terrorists were arrested by the Turkish police who sent them to a “refugee camp” in Yayladagi, and there they were distributed among groups, with Sharrouf’s group numbering around 50.

Sharrouf and his group were trained to use firearms by Turkish officers, then after 25 days he and his cohorts were released and returned to smuggling, bringing al-Tabak anti-air missiles, 6 sniper rifles, 5 machineguns, 10 automatic rifles, 30 grenades, and military uniforms. Their last weapon shipment before being arrested consisted of 11 automatic rifles and 18 pump-action shotguns.

For his part, terrorist Aswad, born in 1980, said he started off smuggling fuel and cows into Turkey with a man called Hussam al-Shahoud, and then they moved on to smuggling weapons after striking a deal with a man in Turkey called Suheil Karadabasht who transported weapons to the Turkish side of the borders, while Aswad and al-Shahoud brought them into Syria through Orontes River and stored them in the latter’s basement.

Aswad said that the weapons then were distributed among terrorist groups by a man called Abdelkader Hajjar and his brothers.

He went on to say that he visited his cousin who lives in Izmir and works in Antioch, and the latter took him to a camp in Rihaniya, where he met people who warned him that visiting the camp was dangerous because he could be arrested by the Turkish security forces and transported to a shelter in Antioch, and they expressed regret over coming to the camp as the Turkish security forces abuse and mistreat them and prevent them from returning to Syria or leaving the camp.

Aswad said that he also visited the camp in Yayladagi, which had a hospital nearby along with a training camp where gunmen from Syria were trained.

H. Sabbagh

Syrian Naval and Land Forces Practiced Repelling Invasion By Sea Despite Western Proxies’ Probing

Syrian Navy Conducts Successful Live Fire Exercise

Jul 08, 2012

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – The Syrian Naval Forces conducted an operational live fire exercise on Saturday, using missiles launched from the sea and coast, helicopters and missile boats, simulating a scenario of repelling a sudden attack from the sea.

The Navy managed to carry out the training successfully, repelling the hypothetical attack and hitting the given targets with high precision.


The exercise was attended by Deputy Commander-in-chief of the Army and Armed Forces and Defense Minister Gen. Dawood Rajha, accompanied by senior staff of the General Command of the Army and Armed Forces.

Gen. Rajha praised the preparations for the exercise and the exceptional performance by the naval forces which showed a high level of combat training and its ability to defend Syria’s shores against any possible aggression.


This exercise is part of the combat training plan issued by the General Command of the Army and Armed Forces, which involves military maneuvers carried out over several days involving land, sea and air forces in order to test the combat readiness of the Syrian Arab Army and inspect its ability to carry out its duties in circumstances similar to possible combat conditions.




H. Sabbagh

Russia calls ‘Friends of Syria’ group ‘Immoral’

Russia calls ‘Friends of Syria’ group ‘Immoral’


Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman<br /><br />

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman

MOSCOW- Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that Meetings being organized by the Friends of Syria group are one-sided and immoral.

“Russia, China and a number of other countries which have traditionally friendly relations with the Syrian Arab Republic and its people have refused to join those ‘friends’ because we believe that the format that they have chosen is not only politically wrong, but also immoral,” Lukashevich said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry official spokesman Alexander Lukashevich, describe the format of the “Friends’” meeting in Paris as lopsided, politically wrong and even amoral. According to the diplomat, to be “friendly” exclusively with the part of the opposition that’s outside Syria can only serve to exacerbate contradictions and toughen the positions of the parties to the conflict.

“Loud calls on oppositionists to launch an uncompromising fight to overthrow the Syrian leadership are being heard,” Lukashevich also said.
The calls were then supported by promises of financial help, along with “behind-the-scenes hints at the possibility of using a military scenario” in Syria, he added.

His remarks followed a conference of the Friends of Syria group held in Paris on Friday, in which representatives of some 100 countries took part.

In her address to the delegates, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Moscow and Beijing “will pay a price” for “holding up progress” on Syria, urging the participating countries to put pressure on Russia and China to withdraw their support for President al-Assad.
“I ask you to reach out to Russia and China and to not only urge, but demand that they get off the sidelines and begin to support the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” Clinton said, adding: “I don’t think Russia and China believe they are paying any price at all, nothing at all, for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime.”

Lukashevich said in his comments that the U.S. and its allies’ “friendship” with the Syrian opposition alone could further deepen the bloody 17-month-long conflict between the Syrian government and those fighting it.
“This would mean only one thing – the continuation of bloodshed and new human tragedies,” Lukashevich said.

“We have an impression that some of the participants in the Geneva meeting on June 30 this year do not take seriously the responsibility that ensues from the provisions of its final communique,” he added.

Russia has levelled criticism at the approaches of the Friends of Syria Group to a settlement of the conflict and urged the partners to observe the Geneva agreements.

Participants in the Geneva talks, including the five permanent UN Security Council members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – as well as Turkey, Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait have urged the Syrian government and opposition groups to immediately end fighting and obey to a peace plan proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.
They also called for the creation of a transitional government in Syria involving members of both the current Syrian leadership and opposition groups.

Instead of pushing the conflicting Syrian sides to work together to achieve peaceful transition, he said, the Friends of Syria group organize “politico-propagandist performances in the spirit of party congresses, where the fate of Syria is being discussed in the absence of its representatives and loud calls on oppositionists to launch an uncompromising fight to overthrow the Syrian leadership are being heard.”

Those calls are being strengthened by “generous promises of financial and economic support, as well as behind-the-scenes hints at the possibility of using a military scenario” in Syria, he added.

Russia and China have twice vetoed United Nations resolutions against Assad, citing a pro-rebel bias.
Both countries have however backed Annan’s six-point peace plan, which went into force in April, but has failed to stop the bloodshed.

Earlier and in the run-up to the Paris conference, the West again came up with the idea that it is trying to persuade Russia to grant political asylum to the current Syrian President. At first Moscow took it as a joke, says Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and elaborates.

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, is expected to hold talks with Syrian opposition groups next week, a diplomatic source said on Friday.

The UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution on Friday condemning the Syrian authorities for what it said were violations of human rights during the conflict. The resolution was approved by 41 members of the council, with Russia, China and Cuba voting against.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a report submitted to the Security Council on Friday that the United Nations cannot verify the number of people killed in Syria since the beginning of the unrest in March 2011. Ban cited non-governmental organizations as saying the death toll was between 13,000 and 17,000.

Russian Officials Counter US State Dept. Homosexual Agenda

[St. Petersburg officials arrested all three participants and self-organizers of attempted gay protest.  The American liberal homosexual agenda is the driving force in State Dept. destabilization and regime change operations.  Discerning Nations like Russia, Pakistan and El Salvador see through this anti-life philosophy, which is sold to the world as a natural extension of  “human rights”.  (SEE:  US commits ‘cultural terrorism’ by sponsoring gay pride event in Pakistan ;  U.S. ambassador fuels gay rights debate in El Salvador).]  

Police officers detain gay right activist Maria Yefremenkova in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, July 7, 2012. Russian police detained several gay rights activists for holding an unsanctioned protest rally against a law of prohibition of homosexuality propaganda made by the St. Petersburg

Police officers detain gay right activist Maria Yefremenkova in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, July 7, 2012. Russian police detained several gay rights activists for holding an unsanctioned protest rally against a law of prohibition of homosexuality propaganda made by the St. Petersburg’s city parliament this year.

8 gay activists arrested in St. Petersburg


ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA — Russian police have broken up attempts to hold two gay rights rallies in St. Petersburg, which this spring adopted a law against spreading “homosexual propaganda.”

Three rally organizers were arrested Saturday at a park in Russia’s second city, and five others were detained at a later rally attempt near the landmark Smolny complex, Russian news agencies reported.

Only six people showed up for the second rally, and the three arrested at the first attempt were the only participants.

Although homosexuality was decriminalized after the fall of the Soviet Union, disdain for gays remains strong in Russia. Some rally attempts provoke violence by opponents.

St. Petersburg passed a law in February calling for fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($15,000) for spreading “homosexual propaganda.”

Afghan Aid–Just Like Pounding Sand Down A Rat Hole

Corruption in Afghanistan

Billions Down the Afghan Hole

Estimates from local watchdog Integrity Watch Afghanistan show bribe payments — for everything from enrolling in elementary school to getting a permit — doubled between 2007 and 2009, topping billion a year

By Huguette Labelle

The major donors and Afghan government officials meeting in Tokyo on Sunday to discuss future aid to Afghanistan have to face up to a bitter truth: As much as $1 billion of the $8 billion donated in the past eight years has been lost to corruption. All governments in Tokyo must show that business as usual cannot continue. An agreement worth $4 billion is at stake.

Turning off the aid taps is not an option. This would hurt the poorest, increase instability and likely lead to illicit flows taking the place of donor funding. Donors and the Afghan government need an enforceable plan to tackle the issue. They don’t need more words.

Corruption in the country is nothing new, but it is worsening. Afghanistan has had a long history of conflict, contraband and war. It falls almost at the bottom of the list of the most corrupt and poorly governed countries, including the Corruption Perceptions Index produced by Transparency International.

Estimates from local watchdog Integrity Watch Afghanistan show bribe payments — for everything from enrolling in elementary school to getting a permit — doubled between 2007 and 2009, topping $1 billion a year. Corruption and black-market trading, which is closely linked to drugs and arms trafficking, have reached over $12 billion annually, according to calculations by NATO.

Yet the Afghan government is reportedly going to the meeting without a clear plan of attack against corruption. There is a strategy — known as the National Priority Program on Transparency and Accountability — but it has not been fully endorsed by the government or international representatives. A large part of the critique is that it is not realistic or ambitious enough.

In the past, many mistakes have been made in addressing corruption, including turning a blind eye. Corruption has been used as a “currency for peace” and is interwoven with the Afghan political economy. Shifting the tide on corruption will have to start from the top down — on the part of the Afghan government and donor countries — as well as the bottom up from local communities.

At the top, there already have been some positive moves. There is now a joint Afghan-donor government body on anti-corruption. It combines a highly reputed group of Afghan and international experts, including a former French judge, Eva Joly, who work to monitor anti-corruption progress against clear goals and benchmarks.

Still greater political will and stronger leadership are needed in order to take action against those accused of state looting. This includes members of the government and their families.

One key step forward would be the adoption of an access to information law, which has yet to pass. Greater levels of transparency and accountability are essential across the board. This is particularly true as Afghanistan begins to develop its estimated $3 trillion in mineral, oil and gas reserves.

Donors also have to do their own share of work at the top. In recent years, key donors have provided technical and financial support for anti-corruption programs. But their efforts have not always been appropriate in the Afghan context, sufficiently coordinated, or integrated with other reforms.

At times, donors have also been criticized for pushing too much funding out too quickly because of internal “spending pressures.” They have also been guilty of a lack of transparency about their aid and military spending.

It’s time for both the Afghan government and donors to renew their commitment to fighting corruption and set up concrete milestones to mark progress. They need to develop an anti-corruption capacity at both central and local government levels. This can include investing in local civil-society organizations that can perform watchdog functions.

All this is predicated on a will for greater transparency.

The question is whether the local context allows citizens to actually speak up against corruption, be protected from reprisals and see their complaints turned into clear government responses at the local and national level. Another question is whether these interventions are eliminating the worst forms of corruption, such as bribery among the police and in commerce.

It would be naïve to imagine that corruption can be halted in Afghanistan through these measures alone. Since the first pledges of aid were made in Berlin in 2004, hard lessons have been learned and the reality that corruption is undoing the rebuilding efforts cannot be ignored, particularly in light of the expected donor drawdown after 2014.

The Tokyo meeting offers a unique chance to commit to real progress in the corruption fight. Let’s hope that the governments don’t let this chance slip by.

Huguette Labelle is chairwoman of Transparency International, an anti-corruption organization.

Cyprus Rescues Lebanon

Cyprus Rescues Lebanon

By Doug Madory on July 6, 2012 
It has been a tough week for Internet connectivity in Lebanon. After two national Internet blackouts on the IMEWE cable, Lebanese traffic was moved onto the CADMOS submarine cable to reach international carriers via Cyprus. With this backup in place, and with substantial additional capacity brought online to reduce congestion, just over 70% of the country’s networks (prefixes) were brought back online.

In an example of engineering under pressure, Lebanese Telecoms Minister Nicholas Sehnaoui personally flew to Cyprus and met with theCyprus Telecommunications Authority. The teams (pictured right) then collaborated to find a viable solution.



Crippling Internet Blackouts Reveal Dependence on IMEWE

Earlier this week, we reported on an outage due to cable maintenance on the IMEWE submarine cable. This incident took down nearly all international Internet access for Lebanon for 3 hours. Then on Wednesday, at approximately the same time of day (16:14 UTC), IMEWE was cut 50 kilometers from the coast of Alexandria in Egypt, once again interrupting connectivity country-wide. In each incident we observed minor network outages and routing instabilities in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Pakistan (the other countries where IMEWE lands). None of those countries has the same reliance on a single cable, so they were all able to automatically and relatively seamlessly divert traffic to other routes.

Restoration Through Cyprus

At around 07:45 UTC today, we saw latencies into Lebanon improve as traffic started to flow via Cyprus. When viewing the outage and today’s restoration in traceroute data, we can see various Lebanese ISPs shifting through their Internet providers as they try to maintain service. Below we analyze these changes for a few of the main ISPs operating in country. It’s interesting to note that different providers seem to have moved their traffic onto the new alternative route at slightly different times, and not all at once.

Internet provider TerraNet shifts from Cogent and Level 3 over the IMEWE cable onto SatGate and followed by Tata. (Like SatGate, Tata’s service is also probably via satellite given the high median latencies (upper graph).) At 06:40 UTC, TerraNet was one of the first providers to move traffic to the Cyprus link. traces-LB_recent_all_ASedges_upstreamsof39010.gif
IDM is a bit of an enigma, going entirely offline following the cable break, losing Level 3 and Cogent. They then return with Telenor satellite service and some Level 3 service, presumably over the CADMOS link, and presumably heavily congested. (Note the higher median latencies.) Like the others, at about 07:40 UTC IDM gets its lower-latency service from Cyprus and begins to shed the higher-latency services. traces-LB_recent_all_ASedges_upstreamsof9051.gif
Lebanese ISP Sodetel begins with service primarily from Level 3 (AS3356) and Cogent (AS174) over IMEWE. However, once IMEWE becomes unavailable, traffic shifts to satellite providers Satgate(AS30721) and SIDUS (AS52036) and median latencies from around the world increase dramatically. At about 07:45 UTC, we see Cyprus Telecom Authority (AS6866) appear as a preferred upstream provider, and median latencies across the CADMOS cable drop back to values similar to those observed before the IMEWE outage. traces-LB_recent_all_ASedges_upstreamsof31126.gif
Cyberia starts with transit primarily from Level 3, spends a few hours with no service, and then moves onto high-latency satellite service from VICUS (AS41589). Approximately ten minutes after Sodetel, at 07:55 UTC, Cyberia also begins to route traffic through Cyprus, resulting in significantly lower median latencies. traces-LB.recent.all.ASedges.upstreamsof24634.gif

Having put together what appears to be a very workable interim solution with the help of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, the next step will be to see whether Sehnaoui and his team in Lebanon can keep this momentum going. Like the other countries in the region, Lebanon really needs multiple independent high-capacity paths (ideally through multiple competing Lebanese providers). Perhaps the Cyprus solution will be workable in the longer run; perhaps calmer days in Syria will someday enable a second, terrestrial path that accesses some of Turkey’s ample, high-bandwidth connectivity to Europe.

Lebanese bloggers have a wonderfully cynicalself-deprecating sense of humor about their outage-prone electrical grid and Internet service. Jokes aside, the continuing problems with maintaining stable, fast Internet are damaging to Lebanon’s reputation and make it harder to attract business investment. The CADMOS restoration success shows that Lebanon’s government and engineers deliver good results under fire. Will they now continue the regulatory and technical work to create a more resilient national Internet? The evolution of Internet service in Bahrain could provide a useful role model.

Renesys Internet Intelligence Cable Break Analysis

[The following is a technical explanation of the effect of the 2008 submarine cable cuts (SEE: Cutting Cables, Lighting Fuses–Rerun ) and a correction of the popular misconception that Iran was completely without Internet service during this series of undersea sabotage.  One fact made clear by this analysis is that only Sprint managed to come back and to survive as South Asia’s primary Internet provider.]

Renesys Internet Intelligence Cable Break Analysis

Posted: 2008/02/08
From: Mathaba
The following report is from the Renesys Corporation, an authority on Internet Intelligence, providing real-time monitoring and analysis of the global Internet, analysis on the service provider market, application program interfaces and customized analysis upon request.

We started this blog thread last week, when we only had two broken cables to consider, but since that time there have been reports of several more failures and they seem to keep coming in.As far as this thread is concerned, the first two parts (here and here) focused on the countries and local providers most impacted on the day of the first two cable failures. We then looked at the providers of some of the harder-hit countries and how they were able to restore connectivity (or not) during the subsequent 48 hours. And along the way, we felt obliged to counter some nonsense circulating on the Internet claiming that Iran had been cut off. It’s been a busy week and we’ve barely scratched the surface. But plowing ahead, we will take an extended look at two local providers, Bharti in India and DCI in Iran, and how they weathered the storm. One week later, how are these two local providers gaining access to the global Internet? What has changed? We will use these examples to provide a glimpse into what can be discovered by collecting up enough public routing data from enough carefully selected places, combining it with geo-location information and then doing an enormous amount of processing.

I’m going to start with a word of caution: this will be the most technical of our discussions so far. However, it will not be difficult to follow if we take things one step at a time. The first simple observation is that an organization can be both a customer and a provider, depending on one’s point of view. For example, Bharti is both a provider to numerous companies in India and a customer of Sprint. So whether someone says they are a provider or a customer depends the direction in which the money is flowing, toward them (provider) or away from them (customer). To introduce some terminology, let’s consider customer C with providers P1 and P2. From our data, Renesys will observe these two business relationships, as well as the networks (IP prefixes for you routing experts) that are routed across them. We can infer a lot by watching the routing along these links and how it changes over time. For example, if P1 is having a problem, we might see C suddenly shift some of their networks to P2. We will observe this as a decrease in the number of networks on the C-to-P1 link and a corresponding increase on the C-to-P2 link. On the Internet, traffic equates to money, so P1 just lost some cash flow, while P2 gained some.

With this background, let’s take a closer look at Bharti and the major carriers who connect them to the rest of the global Internet. Before the cable cuts, Bharti was receiving service from several carriers including British Telecom (BT), Deutsche Telekom (DTAG), Cable & Wireless (C&W) and Sprint. We observed these four particular carriers until the cable breaks, and then each of these simply went away. Only Sprint eventually recovered to some degree on 2 February, but ended up carrying far fewer networks. It is not surprising that certain carriers went completely off-line, but why did Sprint come back after two days? No cables were repaired during that time and no new ones were suddenly brought into service.

Sprint has a strong global network and has considerable capacity heading from Asia to the west coast of the US. If their outage could have been corrected by a configuration change, you would think that that would not have taken two days. Are they selling service in India on routers without capacity in both directions? Were they preferring their more expensive MPLS service over IP and had no available bandwidth for IP? If so, what happened after two days to restore IP service? Looking at Sprint’s network maps (see page 9), they claim to have capacity on SEA-ME-WEA 3, which was not impacted by the outages. What exactly was Sprint doing for those two days in India?

As for the providers who gained new traffic, AT&T, SingTel and Level 3 initially picked up new networks from Bharti. However, all of them subsequently fell, perhaps due to another cable cut, with only Level 3 managing to preserve some of their gains. This answers one of our questions from an earlier blog about exactly how Level 3 managed to gain business in India. It was due almost entirely to Bharti, a very large local provider.

Now, let’s consider DCI in Iran. DCI is the only provider in Iran with connections to the outside world. Most of their traffic flowed via TTNet, SingTel or Flag before the breaks, and not surprisingly, Flag lost many of the networks it carried earlier.

But this graph might seem to contradict our previous blog,where we said that the outaged networks in Iran had been quickly recovered. The graph shows a drop in networks carried by Flag, but no corresponding rise in networks for TTNet and/or SingTel. This is explained by the fact that networks can be carried by more than one provider. For example, I might reach a network in Iran via Flag, but you might reach that very same network via TTNet. This is why Iran was able to recover so quickly. DCI could use any one of their three primary providers and, in fact, were using more than one of them for many of their networks. When Flag failed, traffic could easily move to one of the surviving providers. So although total bandwidth into the country was reduced, there was little in the way of a long-term outage for many networks.

From this discussion, we can see that graphing the number of networks over time does always tell the whole story. Here SingTel and TTNet both could have picked up a lot of new traffic because of the failure of Flag, but not necessarily any new networks. How can we observe such situations in the routing data? Well, when Iran had three main providers, the rest of the world would pick these three in some proportion based on various routing attributes, which are beyond the scope of this discussion. However, when Flag went away, there were only two primary Iranian providers left standing. Renesys’ worldwide assortment of routing peers (i.e., data collection points) would have been forced to pick one of the two survivors for traffic into Iran. We can capture this with a metric we call PPT, peer-prefix-time. Basically, for each of the Renesys peers worldwide, we count up the total amount of time this peer routes a network (prefix) in a particular way. Thus, for each network in Iran and each peer, we’ll know how long it was routed via TTNet or Flag or SingTel. Adding up these times for all networks in Iran tells us how popular these providers are for gaining access to Iran on any given day. We show this in the graph below.

Immediately after the cable cuts, TTNet was preferred for access to Iran by a significant majority of the world over SingTel. But then as time went on, the two providers achieved rough parity. This could have been because of routing decisions made by DCI to balance traffic between their remaining providers. This example is to show that simply counting up routed networks, while useful, only gets you so far. You also need to know how the rest of the world chooses between the available options and in what proportion. Flag, which still routed networks to Iran after the cuts, was selected by almost no one.

I want to thank you for getting to this point in my blogs and for all the thoughtful comments I have been receiving both publicly and privately. I wish I had the time to answer all the questions, but I guess if I did we wouldn’t have much of a business. Renesys makes its money by selling such Internet Intelligence to its customers. So with this blog, I am going to close out our discussion of cable breaks for now, except that I’ll soon follow up with some non-technical concluding remarks and lessons learned.