back to article Georgian granny disconnects Armenian internet

A Georgian granny faces a possible three years in jail after a copper-scavenging expedition ended in Armenia's disconnection from the internet. While hoping to pick up some valuable booty in the village of Ksani on 28 March, the 75-year-old damaged fibre-optic cables owned by the Georgian Railway Telecom company, which serve …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    it's rife in the former soviet states

    We have had so many fibre cuts between Germany, Moscow & Warsaw that we got a 3rd path from another provider, the first night it was in action the main path to Moscow went down, we failed over onto our 3rd path and 4 hours later that went down.

    Official response from the providers "unofficial activity by the peoples of the Ukraine!"

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "...from another provider..."

      You need to be careful there. What we found was that your "other provider" is always either reselling the bandwidth from the former state telecoms company (i.e. it's the same physical pipe) or is reselling bandwidth from another party who is, in turn, buying it from the former state telecoms company (i.e. it's the same physical pipe). The second variation here often involves the "middle man" being a well-reputed company based in another country.

      They'll all quite happily tell you they're providing a seperate path too and you have to do your own digging to prove / disprove their claims. If you reckon you lost three links, I'll bet you actually lost one that's been sold to you three times!

      A company I know ended up paying someone to dig a bloody trench from <central european ex-soviet capital city> to Germany.....

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Implementation errors

    the internet (nee ARPANET), designed by specialists to survive a nuclear WW3

    implemented by commercial chimps (with appropriate "cost savings"), fails to survive one granny

    any chance these guys also set up vodaphone's 3g data network?

    1. Paul Williams

      Bzzt. Wrong

      The internet was never designed to withstand a nuclear war.

      That said, it *was* designed to offer resliency in the event of broken links, so the notion that entire countries are dependent on a single cable seems to be a fail.

      1. raving angry loony

        Bzzt. Partially correct

        Hence AC's comment about "implemented by commercial chimps (with appropriate "cost savings"), fails to survive one granny" being absolutely correct. Want to bet some accountant somewhere got a promotion because they "saved" millions of dollars by only putting one cable. After all, what do the techs know, especially when their recommendations for redundant paths are SO expensive!

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Thank You Mr Baran

      "According to the NYT, Baran wanted to build a “distributed communications network,” which was less open to attack than conventional networks. He thought that networks should be designed with “redundant routes” so that if one path failed or was destroyed, messages could still be delivered through a similar path."

      "This sounded like a crazy idea, and in fact, AT&T insisted it wouldn’t work when Baran approached the company with the idea in the mid-1960s. In 1969, the Defense Departments’s Advanced Research Projects Agency built the Arpanet, which included Baran’s ideas. Packet switching is still a main part of the Internet’s internal workings."

      Nice to see the non-innovation tradition in big companies is not new.

      And WW3 would have probably been a limited exchange, hence it would have survied

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Yes, the internet failed to survive

      How stupid we all look now.

  3. Paul Johnston

    Many Years Ago!

    Back in the early 2000s I was involved with Tbilisi State University and seem to remember the link to Georgia was routed via a satellite. That's what happens if you don't have many friendly neighbours. Suprised they haven't blamed it on Russian cyber warfare, still the night is young.

    1. Throatwobbler Mangrove

      off target

      Georgia has a big, friendly and democratic-ish neighbour in the form of Turkey, as well as Black Sea access for any underwater pipes it feels like laying. This is why it's in a position to onsell net access to Azerbaijan and Armenia.

      Armenia, on the other hand, has an unfriendly neighbour in the form of Azerbaijan (a substantial chunk of Azeri territory is occupied by Armenia and Karabagh), an unfriendly neighbour in the form of Turkey (which is allied with Azerbaijan and is arguing about whether the Armenian genocides did or didn't happen) and a relatively unfriendly pariah neighbour in the form of Iran (not much good for net access anyway). That's what it is so dependent on the single link from Georgia.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    not the whole country

    someone probably needs to double check their sources i have two different 3G connections and cable internet at home, all of them were working fine that day, there might have been an outage affecting some consumers but the whole country? give me a break.

    1. alwarming
      Paris Hilton

      @not the whole country.

      By any chance you were accessing local Armenian site only ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @not the whole country.

        I don't even speak Armenian so the answer is no, i wasn't browsing the local internet, also as it seems Armenia doesn't have one link but 3, 2 with Georgia and one with Iran which explains most probably why only some of the subscribers were affected, probably the ones on the cheapest packages. if you pay the equivalent of 100 euro per month you expect to have connectivity even if they have to use carrying pigeons.

        1. Nick Wallis

          You'll be needing RFC1149

          IP over Avaian Carriers -

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            You'll be needing RFC1149

            The document doesn't preclude the use of additional "lines" with load balancing, i think i will suggest at first arising opportunity as a backup link:)

  5. phil mcracken

    nice to see they're taking after the Russians...

    In soviet russia, internet disconnects YOU.

  6. Lockwood


    The internet is a series of tubes.

    I guess it is that - a load of tubes in series.

    I thought they were in parallel

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