How was IPTV running when the internet was blocked for 6 hours on Thursday?

Kathmandu. Most of the Internet services in Nepal were affected for more than six hours from 4 pm on Thursday, but IPTV was running uninterrupted. Some users were even surprised to see that the Internet was not working, but the IPTV coming from the same optical fiber cable was working.

In this case, the Internet service provider companies themselves did not make the Internet work? This kind of suspicion was also seen on social media. In the end, how can such a situation come?

We have tried to understand this matter with internet technicians and experts. According to them, internet service mostly depends on international bandwidth. However, cache servers and CDN (Content Delivery Network) within Nepal are also working as part of it.

But IPTV is connected to the internet network from within Nepal as local content. Therefore, the international bandwidth of the Internet is not so necessary for this, said the technicians. “The content of Nepali TV channels is prepared within Nepal,” he said, “Foreign channels are also downlinked in Nepal from satellite and connected to flow through the internet network within the country.”

In this way, even if the Internet is completely shut down due to the lack of international bandwidth, it seems that IPTV will continue to operate.

Even if the link is cut, why is the internet not completely blacked out and slow?

Internet service providers have been buying international bandwidth from various upstream service providers in India. But on Thursday, Internet service in Nepal was affected as Airtel cut the international link.

Along with Airtel, internet service providers are also connected with other upstream service providers. Among them are Tata, Light Strom Telecom, PCW and others. However, 90 percent of the international bandwidth entering Nepal is dependent on Airtel.

Even though Airtel disconnected the international link in a phased manner, bandwidth was still coming from other upstream service providers, albeit in small amounts. On the other hand, cache servers like Google, Facebook, Akamai are kept within Nepal. It is said that due to both these reasons, the internet service has slowed down without being completely stopped. However, there may be a situation where the Internet of a service provider that depends only on Airtel does not work at all.

Maybe the Internet service provider itself has affected the service, isn't it?

Such suspicion was not only among some users but also the regulator Nepal Telecommunication Authority and the government. Therefore, it has been found that a team of regulators conducted on-site inspection and monitoring of some major Internet service providers during the internet service disruption on Thursday.

When the internet service was disrupted, the related service providers themselves were also in trouble. Internet services of various service providers were affected at once. Among them were Worldlink, Vianet, CG, Websurfer, Subisu and other services.

The regulator sent monitoring teams to some of these service providers. During the monitoring, the team logged into the device of the service provider and checked the connection with which upstream. “Which one is down, at what time it was down, logging on to the connected device and checking its log file, checking whether BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) is up or down, etc.,” said the owner of an internet service provider. Then it was seen that the connectivity with Airtel was down.

If the internet service provider itself has downed the service, it seems that the admin is down. But a member of the authority's inspection team said that it seems that BGP is down due to upstream down.

“We have also verified the ping and trace reports to ascertain whether the point-to-point connectivity with Airtel is live,” he said, adding that Thursday's internet disruption was caused by the upstream provider itself breaking the connection link.

Airtel has been asking internet service providers for regular payments for a long time. But the government has been refusing to recommend foreign currency equivalents for the amount they have to send to upstream providers, citing disputed arrears. As a result, the upstream providers have not been able to receive payment of around three billion rupees from the internet service providers of Nepal for the past one year.

It is understood that even at 1 pm on Thursday, Airtel has given a warning to the service providers through email that the internet may be shut down at any time.

“We received such an email from Airtel's central credit control unit, probably at the same time it was sent to other service providers as well,” said a service provider executive.

It is understood that after the internet service was disrupted, the common organization of service providers, Ispan, is continuously talking to Airtel for the restoration of the service. At the same time, it is believed that there may have been some dialogue with the Government of India and the upstream service providers from the side of the government.

Also, it is estimated that Airtel may have seen the risk of not being able to pay the remaining three billion rupees if they do not cooperate or become flexible and have restored the service. It is said that Airtel has been assured that the ongoing dispute regarding payment will be resolved within two weeks and the currency will be recommended. In this way, the internet service started operating regularly only around 10:30 pm.

Last Updated: Baisakh 21, 2081 12:10


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Rabins Sharma Lamichhane

Rabins Sharma Lamichhane is senior ICT professional who talks about #it, #cloud, #servers, #software, and #innovation. Rabins is also the first initiator of Digital Nepal. Facebook: rabinsxp Instagram: rabinsxp

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