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Syria Blames Internet Outage on Fiber Optic Cable

Syria Blames Internet Outage on Fiber Optic Cable

When the civil war-ravaged nation of Syria suffered a countrywide Internet outage last week, Syrian state-run media blamed the problem on fiber optic cables. According to BBC News, state-run media reported that a “fault in optical fiber cables” was to blame for the blackout.

This nationwide outage lasted for nearly 20 hours. Many speculated that the Syrian regime pulled the plug, instead of a fiber optic issue because the entire country was affected. It is impossible to confirm from outside of Syria what caused the outage.

Since the Syrian uprising began, the regime has stopped Internet service multiple times in select areas connected to rebel fighters. Back in November, a two-day outage coincided with military operations near the capital city, Damascus. Internet access, specifically social media use, has played an integral role in the year-and-a-half conflict between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his opponents. Dan Hubbard, CTO of Umbrella Security Labs and OpenDNS, tells Bloomberg’s Brian Womack that many companies that depended on the .sy server domain have switched their services since the November outage.  (SOURCE:

Three submarine cables provide Syria’s Internet service, which experts say dispels the claim that a fiber optic cable was to blame for the outage. “The failure of a single optical cable is unlikely to cause a complete Internet outage for the country,” said David Belson, a product line director at content delivery network, Akamai.

There are over 200 telecommunication cables laid on the seabed throughout the world. Modern submarine fiber optic cables carry digital data traffic, including Internet, telephone and private traffic, across stretches of ocean. These submarine cables serve as the foundation for the world’s communication and economy.

GeoTel Communications specializes in researching and mapping telecommunications infrastructure data in GIS to produce a wide range of telecom data products, including telecom maps. GeoTel’s Submarine Cable and Landings dataset reveals specific information about the cable, including the cable’s name, landing stations, length, owners, ready for service date and contact information. If you’re interested in, fiber maps, fiber network maps, or any of our telecom GIS datasets, visit our website at, or call at (800) 277-2172.

Valerie Stephen