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Internet assessment - Sept 11 2001
Of course, the families of those who were killed and continuing rescue efforts come first. I've had a cold for a few days, and slept in this morning, so I'm a bit behind. Internet traffic patterns show a 10% decrease in network traffic around the time of the event. The World Trade Center in New York is a relatively minor Internet hub, and several providers had reduced the amount of equipment years ago after the WTC bombing. The Pentagon isn't a hub, except for traffic to/from the Pentagon. More likely was damage to surrounding buildings, impact to the electric grid, and debris in air affected some neighby buildings. Perhaps surprising, I can still reach most military web sites. I don't think they've closed the "Drawbridge" on MILNET. Users with "always-on" Internet connections such as T1, DSL, cable modems haven't reported any access problems. Dial-up users are experiencing telephone congestions (and possible Network Management Controls) in New York City and Washington DC. There was a 30 minute drop in Internet traffic, likely due to reduced capacity while traffic was re-routed. Then overall traffic levels increased by about 10% for approximately 1 hour. Now Internet traffic volumes have returned to near pre-event levels, but providers report dramatic changes in usage. Major news sites are seeing severe congestion, and most have dropped all graphics and other bandwidth consuming data. E-mail, DNS, and other "core" Internet operations appear unaffected. Across the country Internet data centers and colocation facilities have been closed except for emergency visits. Most ISPs have suspended regularly scheduled maintaince activities, and "frozen" their networks. New York City is restricting most access the island of Manhattan, and most ISPs don't have the credentials to pass. As far as I know, federal officials have not made any special requests to ISPs to do anything differently. The Internet has become a regular part of many Emergency Operations Centers, including some "secured" websites used by FEMA and the state EOCs. So ISPs should not try to "clear" the lines, because you don't really know who is using your lines. If an EOC needs to reach you, they have their ways.