Cogent cut takes down major internet backbone



Cogent has suffered a major outage of one of their main internet backbone connections. It appears that this link is having a big affect on the “internet health”. Comcast seems to be relatively hard hit with connectivity issues from this. It appears that the Northeast US and Southeast may have sporadic outages depending on the ISP. I’ve had a few peculiar net experiences this morning, but I’m not sure if this connectivity problem is what I’ve seen.


Here is a mailinglist thread on the outage, specific message mentioning two fiber cuts one in the Northeast US, another in the Southeast US. I have a reference that the SANS institute is tracking this, but am getting a cached version of their page.

It looks as though the cuts are ..

Between Houston and Tampa (Southeast) Ticket #347277
Between Philidelpha and DC (Northeast) Ticket #347375

This will likely affect routing in some way for a large section of East Coast US users. (Ranging from outage, to slow responses, perhaps occasional pages not found??)

BTW, Cogent’s site seems to be down.

Of course, the idea that two fiber optic cables in the US by the same network provider would suffer cuts the same day is strange. One is believable as an accident – with two you have to wonder about sabotage or just poor luck? (Or poor maintenance planning?) I know several years back our whole area was out of phone internet service for the better part of a day because there was one single fiber optic cable running North from Asheville, there was construction in the area and they cut it. We could connect within the area and using cell phones, but no calls could route outside the area affected.

I’m suspicious that there may be more to this story of two cuts.

—update 11-17 1PM EST —

Ok here is the Link to the Sans coverage of this, I don’t know if they were experiencing heavy traffic or if there were other issues last time I tried….

It also looks as though there are two cuts, one in New Orleans and one in Washington, D.C.

Overall internet health at this hour is looking better than when I first saw it, although Cogent’s links are still having problems.

–update 11/17/05 2:09 EST–

From a comment at the securityfix…

“As of 11:30 this morning, both the splicing crew and the digging crew were
on site in New Orleans. The crews would not estimate the length of
time-to-repair at this time, but work has begun and the connection should be
restored today.

For the Washington DC cut, Cogent and MFN have identified the problem in an
OCF in 1110 Vermont and MFN has field technicians enroute to arrive at Noon,
EST. In the meantime, Cogent is looking to re-route traffic on Williams
fiber to restore connectivity while the crew repairs the cut.”

Also, from incidents.org

“The Cogent network got cut at two different locations. One around New Orleans and a second in Washington DC. Appears that only the New Orleans issue is a fiber cut, while the Washington DC outage is caused by faulty networking equipment inside a data center.”

–update 11/17 9PM EST–

All breaks/cuts seem to be repaired and the internet “health” looks fairly good at the moment.

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