During ESCAP’s Expert Consultation in Manila last week, I was often asked in private if terrestrial networks can deliver what the submarine cables do. I always answered affirmative citing EPEG or Europe-Persia Express Gateway. A scholarly publication by James Cowie of Renesys has coincided with ESCAP’s event and objective:
EPEG is now the Internet’s fastest path between the Gulf and Europe, shaving at least ten percent off the best submarine cable round trip time from Dubai to Frankfurt. It follows the terrestrial great circle path through Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine, and Germany.
EPEG’s greatest selling point this year isn’t the 10% latency reduction; it’s simply that it doesn’t go through Egypt. Egypt now represents a global Internet disaster waiting to happen, where most major east-west submarine cables crawl out of the water and cross the restive Sinai Peninsula, between the Med and the Red Sea. Should both the northern and southern terrestrial legs of cables like SMW3, SMW4, and IMEWE go out at once, the world could lose most of the Internet connectivity between Europe and Asia in a heartbeat.
The message is very clear to ESCAP, SATRC and the proponents of TASIM.