Doug Madory speaks the kind of impact a breakdown can have, and how it reaches beyond the system itself.

“I've had to get smart in the area of submarine cables, because these account for major shifts in internet traffic,” Madory said.  According to Madory,cable failures have a major effect on internet traffic.  As an example of this, he shows a traceroute for accessing the SubOptic website.  The route passes through Strasbourg, Paris, New York, and more.

Bangladesh has only one cable connecting to the global internet.  THe fallback is satellite or nothing.  On 16, Nov, 2012, the cable went down and internet traffic ceased.  The country was basically offline.  However, one provider stayed online by shifting to an active terrestrial connection over to India.  Earlier this year, a planned outage showed four providers that stayed online through this method.

“Everybodys got the submarine cable map,” Madory says, but you cannot expect to trace the cables from city to city like a street.  There is no guarantee that the signal is taking the shortest path.

He also makes the point that any change in major provider is going to change latency on the large scale.  He also mentions that SEACOM maintained excellent service despite recent outages.