infoTECH Feature

August 27, 2012

Turk Telekom Stops Internet Services in Syria Due to Problems in Infrastructure

In a statement made on Thursday, telecommunications company Turk Telekom stated that Internet services to war-torn Syria have come to a stop because of problems in infrastructure in the country. It has not been able to render its services since August 11.

Turk Telecom has refuted reports that it withdrew its services from Syria, insisting instead that the disruption of services was due to problems in Syria’s fiber optic infrastructure.

An authority on Internet intelligence, Renesys (News - Alert) Corp. said Wednesday that Syria has been getting its Internet connections from PCCW Ltd., based in Hong Kong. Other telecommunications companies has been said to have withdrawn their services, among them Turk Telekom (News - Alert).

PCCW is now carrying most of the Internet traffic in Syria, shouldering the weight Turk Telecom has left behind. Other companies continuing to provide services are German Deutsche Telekom (News - Alert), India-based Tata and Telecom Italia.

However, the Italian company is rumored to be the next to withdraw their services and exit the war-torn country.

Meanwhile, Turkey is continuing to sustain electricity services in Syria. Turkey has inflicted sanctions upon Syria, but the country maintains that the sanctions are targeted against the Assad regime and not on its people.

Imposed political sanctions have made it difficult for Syria to maintain Internet connectivity, and also prevent U.S. telecommunications companies from doing business with Syria.

U.S. companies Level 3 and Cogent are major providers for neighboring country Lebanon, but they’re forbidden to do business with state-owned Syria Telecommunications Establishment (STE) due to its monitoring of their citizens.

Currently, PCCW (News - Alert) is now the major player in Syria because China has not imposed any sanctions, and largely also because of its Mediterranean undersea cable assets. They’re also making possible the free flow of information from the Syrian people as they document the civil war that’s happening in their country right now.


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Edited by Braden Becker
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