Cyclone Vardah  which hits Chennai severely, has unleashed a Wreaked havoc and severe destruction all around. More that that it also impacts Internet and Telecommunication connectivity in entire south India.

It impacts in that time that we are currently undergoing a transition towards digital economy, where Internet is to play a key role. 

Even though vardah slows down in Tamilnadu and moves to Karnataka, we are experiencing huge loss in states of Tamilnadu,Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

How we connected as a Nation

When you are to interact with Internet, the requested inform will reach target after passing through a complicated Matrix of Routers and Switches. You can use Traceroute to get your route path displayed.

The same things while you are enjoying an video or IRC chats or Conversation on Whatsapp. For a data network we should connect a network of networks, the networks maybe anyone like (Airtel, ACT, BSNL, YOU).


Let’s consider our city Chennai, all networks in Chennai will connect with City-wide networks which connects to Statewide Networks which then connects to Country wide networks and then to a Global Network which forms the Internet.Without optical fiber cables it is not possible to connect the bandwidth we are talking about.

In India access to global Network can happen with 4 port cities Chennai, Mumbai, Cochin and Tuticorin. The cities also host the landing stations – which connect the land cables with the submarine cables.

Internet Chennai

The Gateways connect India directly with Europe, Singapore, Africa, the Middle East and other countries, usually via submarine cables (India has 8 such cables).Simply to connect website faster, it’s because these gateways effectively balance the load to Networks of Networks.

As per Dr. Govind, former CEO of NIXI  “The internet is very critical for the country. We’re going through a monetary policy change and hope to become a digital economy. We’re growing as a country of internet citizens from 400 million internet users to approximately 750 million users, with a vast majority of them coming from the hinterland. Chennai is an important hub.”

How this affects

Chennai is bit critical to bank fraternity as it having major IT hubs for banks and data centres. It also impacts with the percentage of failed transactions or Internet payment gateways due to the drop in Internet Connections.

Importance of Chennai Gateway has been enhanced by Google as it operating peering hub in Chennai (and another in Mumbai). This esimates, nearly half of the India’s Internet traffic handled by Chennai hub.

Google Network Map

To another extend that India’s wide network of around 2 Lakh ATMs are dependent on ISP for internet connectivity. If ATMs are unable to authenticate transactions, they will irresistible fail.

ISPs alert to their users

Meanwhile various Internet service providers sent alert Notifications to their end user’s.

Airtel, whose V-fiber network is severely affected

“Dear Customer, the cyclone in Chennai has impacted one of our undersea cables which may affect Internet speeds of your Airtel Broadband connection. We deeply regret the inconvenience. Our engineers are working to resolve the issue and services will be normalised shortly.”

Message From Vodafone

“Cyclone Vardah, which paralysed Chennai and nearby areas, caused disruption of some of our services as well. Our on-ground teams are working on a war-footing to restore services in the shortest possible time.”

YOU Broadband shared

you broad Chennai

Alert from ACT Fibernet

“ACT Fibernet’s network has been impacted by the Cyclone Vardah on multiple counts that include downtime in international Gateway, power shutdown in switches and routers and last mile fiber disconnections due to Tree Falls, pillar collapses and so on. Close to 50% of our network was impacted in Chennai leading to intermittent network issues. Our team has been working round the clock and reinforcement team from Bangalore has also joined the restoration work in Chennai..”

If you’re really interested on extremely technical explanation of the situation can be found on Varun Priolkar’s blog here.

So the next time you’re hit by a cyclone, don’t be surprised if you ends up affecting your ISP, and in effect, your internet experience.


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