Internet is such a beautiful technology. We conduct our business using Internet, entertain ourselves with Internet contents, keeping in touch with each other using Internet text and voice messaging services, and, we even incorporate Internet technologies into our work procedure.
We depend on service availability of Internet technology and we live in it. Whether we like it or not, Internet is the culture of the 21st century. The question is, what if the major backbone of Internet topology is disrupted ? What will be the economic and social consequences ?
On 27th December 2006, mother natures gave us a sampling of what life will be like for millions of so called "Internet savvy" netizens.
A 7.1 magnitude earthquake at southern coast of Taiwan at 12:07 a.m. on 27th December 2006 caused major disruptions in Internet connectivities in many Asian countries. According to TMNET, the Internet service provider in Malaysia, the Asia Pacific Cable Network 2's ( APCN2) submarine cable between Shantau ( China) and Tanshui (Taiwan), and between Lantau (HK) and Chongming (China) has been severely faulted by the earthquakes. As a result, service outages occurred at several TM Net international transit and peering links causing Internet users in Malaysia to experience severe access degradation for contents and websites hosted outside of Malaysia.
So, this morning, a lot of Internet users in Malaysia experienced the digital tsunami caused by the breakdowns of information super highways at APCN2. For those whose work depend on interacting with contents and websites hosted outside of Malaysia, it is a frustrating start for the day. It look like Internet users in Malaysia is going to live with this digital discomfort for the next few days, maybe weeks, or even months. Digital tsunami won't caused losses of lives, but it will definitely cause a lot of discomforts and financial losses to business which depend on Internet connectivities.
In terms of economic losses due to non availability of service to on line trading, Internet based IP telephony, web based applications, etc., it is anybody guess. Probably billions of dollars will be lost in opportunity costs and disruptions of business transactions. So, the fallacy of reliability of Internet to drive digital economies is glaringly vulnerable. Isn't it.
Man can put up the best and most advance broadband internet technologies and its redundancies, but mother natures still decide. Okay ?