Libyan Internet Instability

August 12, 2011 Jim Cowie


There hasn’t been much to say about the Internet in Libya this summer, as their patterns of connectivity have been fairly stable. It was interesting, therefore, to observe that much of the country’s Internet routing has started to show evidence of sporadic failures this week, which have gone unreported in the media.



The following plot shows the number of Libyan networks (blocks of Libyan IP addresses) that appear in the global routing table. There are typically 16 of these, all routed by Libyan Telecom and Technology (LTT) via Telecom Italia. This week they have suffered some impairment, in groups of 6 or 10, in episodes that typically last no more than a few hours.


There didn’t seem to be any pattern to these outages, which took place at all times of the day and night. It seems to suggest power outages, rather than permanent facilities damage, or deliberate action by the government (for suppressing communications, say).


Is it possible that LTT is suffering power outages, and having trouble finding fuel for their generators due to NATO’s unofficial fuel blockade of Tripoli?


One reason why the world at large may not have noticed much in the way of Internet impairment: the affected networks don’t seem to be the same ones used to access the majority of Internet content from inside Libya. Looking at Google’s plots of inbound traffic from Libya, these substantial network outages seem to have had very little impact on the daily traffic curves:




In other words, the handful of Libyan networks that aren’t affected by these outages seem to be the same ones that are consistently generating the Google traffic. If you’re lucky enough to be an LTT customer in one of these Internet neighborhoods (presumably in Tripoli), your connectivity stays up. Everyone else, well, you’re on your own. Time for Internet in a suitcase?.

The post Libyan Internet Instability appeared first on Dyn Research.


About the Author

Jim Cowie

Jim Cowie is the Chief Scientist at Dyn. Previously, Jim was the founder and CTO of Renesys, the Internet Intelligence Authority, which Dyn acquired in 2014.

Follow on Twitter More Content by Jim Cowie
Previous Article
The Battle for Tripoli’s Internet
The Battle for Tripoli’s Internet

As dawn broke in Libya on the morning of Sunday 21 August, it appeared that...

Next Article
Tracing the Syrian Blackout
Tracing the Syrian Blackout

Updated Monday morning to include detailed Syrian network map, and include...