After many months of what seemed to be a relatively stable internet in Libya, Renesys, the Internet intelligence company has reported that it has showed signs of failure recently. The civil war and negligence that is occurring in Libya has contributed greatly to a breakdown in infrastructure.
James Cowie, a blogger for Renesys says “Much of the country’s Internet routing has started to show evidence of sporadic failures this week, which have gone unreported in the media”.
Libya was once a thriving technology hub, yet through issues such as poverty, revolts, political battles, protesting and a general neglect for the infrastructure, the country has let their tech tools fall by the wayside.
Although many people suspected the government’s involvement regarding the outages, no reasoning could be linked to this, as the times were random and no patterns emerged. Also, according to The New York Times, the Libyan government had already arranged an internet disconnect in the early stages of the war, however this did not continue, mainly due to financial reasons.
Usually Libya has 16 networks, hosted through Telecom Italia. Over the past week, these network routes have dropped to a low of five. Libyan Telecom and Technology is hosted in the capital city of Tripoli, however the outages do not occur there, only in surrounding cities that are routed from Tripoli. Many believe there is trouble finding fuel for generators due to NATO’s unofficial fuel cut-off from Tripoli.
The larger lesson on the Libyan internet failure is that it is a result of a range of national struggles. One must keep in mind the interrelation between technological invention in emerging markets along with political, ecomonic and social challanges. These factors are interdependent and make if far more challenging for innovation to occur in developing markets. Even the most thriving and vibrant technology hubs can become a stagnant failure under an unstable regime.