Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cuban international traffic shifts from satellite to the ALBA-1 undersea cable

Doug Madory, Director of Internet Analysis at Dyn Research, sent me a note on Cuba's international traffic. As you see here, on July 1, nearly all satellite traffic (blue and green) was re-routed to the ALBA-1 undersea cable:

As a result, median latency has stabilized at around 210 milliseconds:

This is good news for Cubans who have Internet access at work, school or ETECSA hotspots and navigation rooms.

There must be relatively fast terrestrial connectivity to the cable landing point at Siboney Beach. Does anyone have any information about the nature of that connectivity? Huawei is installing home DSL and WiFi -- have they also installed an inter-province backbone? Could there have been an unannounced deal with medium-earth orbit satellite provider O3b Networks?

Update 7/20/2015

Huawei may be installing home DSL and WiFi hotspots in Cuba, but Doug Madory has discovererd at least one piece of Cisco equipment -- a 2800 router at the University of Havana. (I'd be curious to know how they obtained it.)

I am not familiar with the Cisco 2800, so I Googled it to get the specs. I was saddened to see that it is old equipment, near the end of its support life -- the end date for software maintenance has already passed and hardware support will end soon.

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