Why Russia’s “disconnection” from the Internet isn’t amounting to much

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Rumors of Russian Internet services degrading have been greatly exaggerated, despite unprecedented announcements recently from two of the world’s biggest backbone providers that they were exiting the country following its invasion of Ukraine.

Just as ISPs provide links connecting individuals or organizations to the Internet, backbone services are the service providers that connect ISPs in one part of the world with those elsewhere. These so-called transit providers route massive amounts of traffic from one ISP or backbone to another. Earlier this week Russian ISPs saw the exit of two of their biggest providers. One was Lumen, the top Internet transit provider to Russia. The other was Cogent, one of the biggest Internet backbone carriers in the world.

Still kicking

A transit provider disconnecting its customers in a country as big as Russia has never happened before, Doug Madori, the director of Internet analysis at network analytics company Kentik, said earlier this week. He and others said the move would constrain the overall amount of bandwidth coming into and out of Russia.

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