Egypt’s Net on Life Support


Watching Algeria

February 2, 2011 Comments (4) Views: 6242 Politics, Security

Egypt Returns To The Internet

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Latest updates on Wednesday’s restoration of Internet service in Egypt can be found at the bottom of this page. We’ll update through the day. cheers, –jim


Egyptian Internet providers returned to the Internet at 09:29:31 UTC (11:29am Cairo time). Websites such as the Egyptian Stock Exchange, Commercial International Bank of Egypt, MCDR, and the US Embassy in Cairo, are once again reachable.

All major Egyptian ISPs appear to have readvertised routes to their domestic customer networks in the global routing table, with the exception of Noor Group (AS20928). Recall that Noor was the exception (until Monday) to the Internet blackout, so they are as much an anomaly in restoration as they were in outage. (Update: Noor group back online with a full complement of prefixes as of 12:52pm Cairo time. Better late than never.)


The rebooted Egyptian table is smaller than it was a week ago, but that’s mostly because of a normal process called “reaggregation” (the deletion of very small, specific customer routes that are partially or totally redundant with existing announcements, generally for purposes of traffic engineering). That’s to be expected: the Egyptian table had gotten pretty dense with redundancy in the week leading up to the takedown, and it’s been cleaned up in the process of being brought back.

It wasn’t totally smooth; a few larger network blocks belonging to the Egyptian Universities Network (AS2561) were still missing. Unfortunately, these included the address space that hosts the .eg top level domain servers. The routes have since recovered.

We will continue to update with details through the morning.


Update (13:36 UTC): We confirm that Facebook and Twitter are up and available inside Egypt, at least from the places we can monitor. No traffic blocks are in place, DNS answers are clean, IP addresses match, no funny business. For now.



Update (14:56 UTC): Here’s a plot of the measured round-trip delay, in milliseconds, from a Renesys server in Cairo to all the other responding networks on earth: before, during, and after the Internet outage.

We were cheering when this little machine phoned home before sunrise today, bringing us stored-up Internet quality measurements. Sadly, you can see just how little it was able to reach over the last five days: the blue background plots the number of successful measurements (nearly zero during the outage).

We can see that the 50th percentile latency delays so far look very similar to what they were before the takedown, suggesting that paths are, indeed, getting back to normal.



Update (15:15 UTC): The video we posted Tuesday showed the staggered withdrawal of each Egyptian provider from the routing table last Friday. Here’s a new animation from this morning’s BGP data, showing each large Egyptian provider returning its customers to the Internet. Once again, they come back on their own time schedules, individually, a few minutes apart.

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4 Responses to Egypt Returns To The Internet

  1. says:

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  2. Thanks for your excellent coverage — excellent analysis and visualizations!

  3. As pro-Mubarak demonstrators roam Cairo, Egypt’s Internet roars back to life

    At 11:29 a.m. Cairo time, Egypt's Internet roared back to life Wednesday after more than five days

  4. Egypt 2.0

    The last few weeks have proven the old adage that one spark can kindle a great fire. Starting in Tunisia, where a twenty-six year-old lit himself on fire to protest rising prices and unemployment in the face of a callous and corrupt regime, the winds of d

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