A few hours ago, Syria, the Middle Eastern country in the middle of an especially bloody civil war, disappeared from the Internet.
The research firm Renesys, which keeps track of the status and health of the technical underpinnings of the Internet around the world, just reported that at 10:26 UTC this morning — which, by my watch, would have been 5:26 am ET — effectively all of Syria’s international Internet connectivity shut down…
…The Associated Press (via the Seattle Times) has a report citing Syrian activists saying that the government has cut off Internet and wireless phone connections in and around several neighborhoods of the capital city of Damascus. There have been some clashes there between government forces and the rebels.
Syria watchers are using the hashtag #SyriaBlackout on Twitter for updates and news.
Image: Akamai Traffic to Syria, via AllThingsD which reports that “all 84 blocks of IP addresses assigned to Syria have gone unreachable.”
In this chart they look at the global average connection speed by city. South Korea, as usual, tops the list. Then its almost exclusively Japan — with the exception of Umea and Goteborg in Sweden — until we get out of the top 50.
Boston is the first US city to make the list, checking in at number 51 with an average speed of 8.4Mbps.
For those living in New Jersey, congratulations. North Bergen and Jersey City are the second and third fastest US cities (and 52nd and 58th fastest globally).
The only other countries with cities in the top 100 are Latvia (Riga at 76), Australia (Canberra at 78), Canada (Victoria, BC at 81 and Oakville, ON at 97) and Romania (Timisoara at 89).
The speed differential within the global top 100 is immense. Global number one Taegu, South Korea (21.8 Mbps), for example, is more than three times faster than number 99 Hartford, CT (7.0 Mbps).
Akamai’s State of the Internet Report has some interactives where you can select metrics such as average speeds and broadband adoption against a global map. Not surprisingly, countries in the northern hemisphere perform much better than those in the south.