Connectivity status for Egypt

Danny O'Brien danny at
Thu Jan 27 20:47:53 CST 2011

On Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 6:07 PM, Roy <r.engehausen at> wrote:

> On 1/27/2011 3:47 PM, Danny O'Brien wrote:
>> Around 2236 UCT, we lost all Internet connectivity with our contacts in
>> Egypt, and I'm hearing reports of (in declining order of confirmability):
>> 1) Internet connectivity loss on major (broadband) ISPs
>> 2) No SMS
>> 4) Intermittent connectivity with smaller (dialup?) ISPs
>> 5) No mobile service in major cities -- Cairo, Alexandria
>> The working assumption here is that the Egyptian government has made the
>> decision to shut down all external, and perhaps internal electronic
>> communication as a reaction to the ongoing protests in that country.
>> If anyone can provide more details as to what they're seeing, the extent,
>> plus times and dates, it would be very useful. In moments like this there
>> are often many unconfirmed rumors: I'm seeking concrete reliable
>> confirmation which I can pass onto the press and those working to bring
>> some
>> communications back up (if you have a ham radio license, there is some
>> very
>> early work to provide emergency connectivity. Info at:
>> )
>> Thank you,
>>  I suggest that you confine your information to the press on what you know
> rather than speculation on the cause.
> "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by
> stupidity, but don't rule out malice"
That is indeed one of the reasons why I'm seeking corroboration of the
pattern of behaviour; at least to isolate and eliminate any alternative
explanations. It would certainly be of operational interest (and certainly
not unknown in the annals of historical "stupidity") if, say, a single
fiber-cut or network upgrade was disrupting all of these different forms of
communication simultaneously.  On the other hand, there's only a finite
number of imaginary backhoes you can conjure up before other explanations
begin to trump Hanlon's razor.

Right now, I think that explains (or at least
illustrates) why we were getting reports of widespread but not universal
Internet interruption. See also .

I don't have a good explanation for the SMS problems, but lots of
independent reports; I've yet to have any real confirmation of no mobile
service, and lots of denials, so right now I'm going to assume that's

If anyone can get explanations from their peers in the region, please pass
them on (however incomplete or informal -- mail me directly if you'd rather
not contribute to rumors or non-operational NANOG discussions).

It's late at night in Egypt, and the biggest protests are planned for
tomorrow. A great deal of life-critical systems will be under a great deal
of stress during that time, and the interruptions in network connectivity
would be extremely worrying.

Thanks for checking this out,


More information about the NANOG mailing list