I came across an interesting BBC article – “The Internet’s weakest links,” analyzing the vulnerability of a country’s international connectivity. The vulnerability metric, adopted from Renesys’ blog, is the number of international Internet gateways (IIG) a country has. To be more precise – the number of AS (autonomous systems) actually connected to networks abroad. Renesys term this a Country’s International Frontier.
Let’s take Myanmar as an example. Searching Hurricane Electric’s database for networks in Myanmar you will find five AS’s. Digging a bit you’ll find that only MPT (AS45558) connects to international networks, whereas the other networks connect to the world via MPT. Myanmar has, therefore, only a single company in its international frontier, making it very vulnerable.
Governments in several countries enjoy centralization of international connectivity, enabling them to monitor, filter or block all international traffic. You often see countries with a single IIG, owned by the incumbent telecom operator, which in turn is government controlled.
Nevertheless, appreciating the drawbacks in narrow international frontier, regulators are slowly relaxing their policies, slowly opening the IIG market, while maintaining most of their interests.
ISPs served by the DiViCloud network actually peer with us (AS57731) over-the-top of their existing upstream providers, enjoying the benefits of direct international peering, without physical connectivity. That is, of course, apart from the 50% discount they have on the international capacity.
How do you think this map will change two years from now?