The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City resulted in outages for a number of ISPs. Of the destroyed buildings, WTC 1 and 7 housed colocation facilities. The Telehouse America facility on 25 Broadway in Manhattan, not far from the WTC, lost power. The facility was not damaged, but commercial power was lost and after running on generator power for two days, the generators overheated and had to be turned off for several hours. Affected ISPs received many offers for temporary connectivity and assistence rebuilding their networks.
The phone network experienced congestion in many places on the day of the attack. Although individual (news) sites were slow or hard to reach, general Internet connectivity held up very well. While phone traffic was much higher than usual, traffic over the Internet rose shortly after the attack, but then it declined and stayed somewhat lower than normal the rest of the day, with some unusual traffic patterns.
It seems obvious that packet switched network have better graceful degradation than circuit switched networks. A phone call always uses the same amount of bandwidth, so either you are lucky and it works, or you are unlucky and you get nothing. Packet networks on the other hand, slow down but generally don't cut off users completely until things get really, really bad. And while the current Internet holds its own in many-to-many communication, it can't really cope with massive one-to-many traffic.
Photos of an affected telephone Central Office in New York
Permalink - geplaatst 2001-09-29
Between August 20 and 26 an interesting subject came up on the NANOG list: when using Gigabit Ethernet for exchange points, there can be a nice performance gain if a larger MTU than the standard 1500 byte one is used. However, this will only work if all attached layer 3 devices agree on the MTU. This can be accomplished by having several VLANs and setting the MTU for each subinterface if a single MTU can't be agreed upon.
Permalink - geplaatst 2001-09-30
Jaap Akkerhuis from the .nl TLD registry made an analysis of the impact of the events of September 11th on the net which he presented at the ICANN general meeting mid-November.
Slides of the presentation (PDF)
Extensive archives of the ICANN meeting (but hard to find specific information)
Permalink - geplaatst 2001-12-27