Egypt Internet Shutdown: Official Figures

Shortly after anti-government protests began in Cairo, Egypt had experienced an unprecedented Internet service cutoff. Only suggestions have been raised regarding the reason behind this still ongoing situation, as well as its implications in context to a potential U.S “Internet kill switch.”  Seeing as this is SiliconANGLE, we’re looking at the story from the cloud perspective.   We were sent a recent Q&A held with David Belson, author of Akamai’s State of the Internet reports gives a somewhat more accurate perspective on the cutoff.  But first, some background stats:


•     % Attack Traffic: 3.3%

•     Unique IP Addresses: 1,072,339

•     Avg. Connection Speed (Mbps): 0.8

•     Peak Connection Speed (Mbps): 5.7

•     % Above 5 Mbps: 0.2%

•     % Above 2 Mbps: 3.6%

•     % Below 256 Kbps: 7.8%”

These are the statistics before approximately 5:30pm ET, Thursday, when traffic delivered into Egypt via the Akamai network comes to an almost complete halt. According to published reports, 93 percent of Egyptian networks are currently unreachable, and it’s entirely unclear for how long.

Belson tells that the last time anything similar to the current cutoff happened was when an undersea cable cut severed several Middle East countries’ connection to the Internet. Belson continues to say that the difficulty of ‘turning off’ an entire country’s Internet connection depends on the internet carriers and Telcos as well as the diversity of inbound and outbound connection.

Belson noted it would be very difficult to take out a country like the U.S due to the pure mass of its hardened Internet infrastructure, and that he has not yet witnessed anything to the extent of Egypt’s, and it’s probably the first of its kind, and presumably a deliberate cutoff.