Network Monitor

Network Monitor – October 2021

Extended Internet disruptions and slow speeds reportedly caused by a lack of bandwidth in the country left users unable to access many international services.

In our September report we observed an increasing number of disruptions to international traffic, particularly as we neared October. These distributions continued throughout October, to the extent that at times it was not possible to use international services in Iran. These disruptions were largely associated with decreased Internet speeds and bandwidth; in other words, they amounted to prolonged throttling of international traffic. 

More details on these disruptions are available in our report below.

Overall Situation

During October, these disruptions increased significantly, to the point that during at least 11 days out of the 31 of the month, it was practically impossible to use international traffic at midnight, and during the day speeds were slower than usual. 

According to Arvand Cloud’s Radar, on 10-14, 18, and 21-23 October there were disruptions to international traffic.

IODA data also suggested disruptions on 10-12, 15, and 20-22 of October. 

In one particular instance, on 11 October, the level of disruptions on Google search engine traffic was so great that we were able to observe a packet loss rate of more than 66% inside Iran, and at the ISP level.

This situation escalated until on 14 October, we witnessed an 80% packet loss rate inside the Iranian network, for Google search engine traffic.


According to a report by the Iranian tech news website Zoomit, packet losses were also confirmed by the management of some Internet service companies. They denied that the problem was related to their network infrastructure, but instead said it was related to the reduced, low-quality bandwidth they received from the Telecommunication Infrastructure Company (TCI). According to them, the Internet had been experiencing packet loss for a number of hours over the course of the month.

At the same time, we received reports from Iranian users that paid VPN services based in Iran have been shutting down their services. These VPNs can be used to bypass internet censorship through the Iranian banking system.

In one case, a company sent messages to all of its users stating that “unfortunately most of [our] servers were blocked by the government. What happened is not just related to [a particular company’s website], and other sites are experiencing a similar problem. Please be patient.”

These recent events are happening at the same time that the conservative-dominated parliament and political hardliners are pushing to pass the “Online Services Bill”. It seems these slowdowns could be among the preconditions for the implementation of this plan.

 

 

 

Regional Outages

Despite reports of heavy disruptions, IODA data mainly indicated disruptions in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad, Kerman, Western Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Fars, Golestan, East Azarbaijan, Esfahan, Ilam, and Markazi.

Provider Outages

This AS serves as an internet provider in Iran. The disruption on AS39501 primarily affected users in Fars, East Azerbaijan, Esfahan, Qazvin and Kermanshah.

This AS serves the third mobile network in Iran. The disruption on AS57218 primarily affected users in Tehran.

This is a local ISP in Tehran. The disruptions on their network affected users in Tehran.

This is one of the oldest and largest ISPs in Iran. The disruptions on their network affected users in Tehran.

This AS belongs to an internet service provider. Disruptions on AS49100 affected users in Kerman, Esfahan, Semnan, Lorestan, Alborz and Tehran.

This is a local ISP in Tehran. The disruptions on their network affected users in Tehran.

This is a dedicated internet provider only to IRIB. The disruptions on their network affected users in Tehran.

This AS serves one of the largest internet providers in Iran. The disruption on AS42337 primarily affected users in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad, Kerman, Kurdistan, Fars, East Azerbaijan, Esfahan, Semnan, Alborz, Khuzestan, and Qazvin.

This is a nationwide internet provider. The disruptions on their network affected users in Tehran.

 

About the author

Amir Rashidi

Filterwatch