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Can the Internet work independently within various regions of the world or are there safeguards in place that take down portions of the Internet-network (yes, I see the redundancy) when a major telco line is taken down that provides the only source of the Internet to a specific region of the world?

I'm sure many recall the story that broke last April of the Georgian woman who hit a major networking line with a shovel, cutting the Internet for the entire Armenian region. When that happened, did the people of that region lose complete access to the Internet or were they able to access local sites hosted within that region of the world?

I have a fair understanding of how TCP/IP communication works and it would seem to me that they would still have regional access. However, due to the nature of international business, I can think of a couple cases where it would be better to take down the entire Internet for the region until the broken line was repaired.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

If a site is fully self-contained, so long as someone can reach that site, then the site can continue operating. Unfortunately, there are a lot of surprising dependencies that can cause the site to fail. The most common issue is having DNS operate reliably so people can find the site in the first place.

While specific sites may take themselves offline if they can't operate properly due to dependencies on their own machines reaching infrastructure they need, it would be a bad idea for a provider to cause an intentional disruption of services greater than that which is unavoidable. Some connectivity may be valuable to people, and it really wouldn't make sense to cut it off intentionally absent some overriding reason.

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It's no fun waiting forever for web pages to load because the advertising or statistics service is down. –  Daniel Beck Oct 25 '11 at 6:25
    
Ah, thank you. This is the logical conclusion that I had come to but I wasn't certain that I was correct. –  RLH Oct 25 '11 at 17:28
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