Friday, March 3, 2017

A Country Disconnected




            What happens if a country becomes cut off from the internet?  It’s hard to think of that even being a possibility in this day and age, but it can happen.  Just a thing happened here in Madagascar just a few weeks ago. 
            Madagascar has three service providers that provide telephone and internet service to its population.  Just a few weeks ago Telma’s, the largest of the three providers, undersea line was cut and the provider’s entire internet service went down.  This would not be such a big deal with there being other providers, but Telma is used by a large majority of the people and businesses here in Madagascar.  This meant that places like the Bank of Africa, the Embassy, and most of the local internet cafes all went down.  A whole country seemingly came to a crashing halt.  It was reported that Telma had to run a new undersea line from South Africa and that the process would probably take approximately 15 days.  This put Telma in a frenzy to find a solution for its most prominent clients.  Fortunately, they were able to broker a deal with Orange, the country’s second largest provider, to siphon some of their bandwidth.  This allowed the Bank to come back online and more prominent offices to do limited work. 
            This all happened about a week after the internet went down but I was unaware of it till a few days afterwards.  Where I live, and in my regional office, we were down for the entirety of the time the internet was down.  Since our entire workload is based through the internet we were cut off from it all.  This is not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.  It wasn’t that long ago that everything was done on paper or in person/phone call.  But it was something we all took for granted.  A world without internet is a little liberating and I enjoyed the freedom that it brought, but it sure makes things so much harder. 

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