Iran and Russia throw lifeline to Internet


Posted by Abu Saeed Khan on April 23, 2013  /  0 Comments

We were serious about the sabotage in SEA-ME-WE4 at Egypt that impaired Internet across Asia, notably in Pakistan, last month. Our ongoing research about the fragility of Eurasian submarine cable connectivity refers to multiple terrestrial initiatives to link Middle East with Europe.

EPEG or Europe-Persia Express Gateway is one of them.

And Renesys Corporation, which supports our research, has confirmed that EPEG has made history by transporting telecoms traffic of Bahrain, Pakistan and Kenya to and from Europe. James Cowie of Renesys has made no effort to hide his exclamation:

If you’d told me five years ago that we would one day see Iranian and Russian terrestrial Internet transit serving the countries of the Indian Ocean, from Pakistan to East Africa, I wouldn’t have believed it.

…… We’ve seen all kinds of strategies emerge in the wake of the SMW4 cuts, from Telecom Egypt transit (as far away as Afghanistan), to Israeli transit, to Iraqi transit, to Syrian transit through a war zone. In the hands of Omantel, EPEG is the first solution that appears to be delivering globally visible terrestrial routes to a diverse set of regional providers.

It remains to be seen whether an Internet path through Iran and the Russian Caucasus region will have the kind of stability that enterprises require. But frankly, compared to the submarine cable competition, they’re already looking pretty good.

Read the scholarly blogpost of James Cowie.

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