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Internet outage in Yemen amid airstrikes


2 min read

The early hours of Friday, January 21, 2022, started in Yemen with a country-wide Internet outage. According to local and global news reports airstrikes are happening in the country and the outage is likely related, as there are reports that a telecommunications building in Al-Hudaydah where the FALCON undersea cable lands was hit.

Cloudflare Radar shows that Internet traffic dropped close to zero between 21:30 UTC (January 20, 2022) and by 22:00 UTC (01:00 in local time).

The outage affected the main state-owned ISP, Public Telecommunication Corporation (AS30873 in blue in the next chart), which represents almost all the Internet traffic in the country.

Looking at BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) updates from Yemen’s ASNs around the time of the outage, we see a clear spike at the same time the main ASN was affected ~21:55 UTC, January 20, 2022. These update messages are BGP signalling that Yemen’s main ASN was no longer routable, something similar to what we saw happening in The Gambia and Kazakhstan but for very different reasons.

So far, 2022 has started with a few significant Internet disruptions for different reasons:

1. An Internet outage in The Gambia because of a cable problem.
2. An Internet shutdown in Kazakhstan because of unrest.
3. A mobile Internet shutdown in Burkina Faso because of a coup plot.
4. An Internet outage in Tonga because of a volcanic eruption (still ongoing).

You can keep an eye on Cloudflare Radar to monitor this situation as it unfolds.

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João Tomé|@emot

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