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Update: Internet service provider Hathway (screenshot), and cellular operator Airtel (screenshot) have sent out notifications to customers stating that their networks have been affected due to the cyclone. A spokesperson from Reliance Jio told MediaNama that its network faced “negligible impact” and that it is working on fixing connectivity issues.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like ACT,  YOU broadband, have said that this is due to the Cyclone Vardah which has hit the southern coast of India, and has affected “major Internet gateways”. While users of Hathway and BSNL broadband have reported slowdown or outages,  YOU Broadband had sent out a message to users stating that the Cyclone has affected “major Internet gateways” that provides connectivity.

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The Internet outage has also affected services of cellular operators like Reliance Jio, and Airtel in areas of Bangalore, and southern cities like Coimbatore, Chennai, MediaNama has learnt from sources. MediaNama wrote to Jio, ACT, Spectranet, Airtel, and Hathway for a comment. A spokesperson from ACT Fibernet confirmed with MediaNama that their network has been impacted by the Cyclone, while adding that its team has been working on clearing the outage. We are yet to hear back from rest of the ISPs/telcos.

“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,” the spokesperson from ACT told MediaNama.

Twitter users have also reported outages in several cities:

Impact of Internet outage

Countrywide Internet outages could adversely affect online payments and transactions, which already took a beating last month due to rise in digital transactions post demonetization. Last month, card transactions at Point of Sale (PoS) were failing due to the load on machines. Although, the failure rates came down over the month, mas Internet outages can affect:

-Banks and ATMs rely on leased Internet lines. This could affect online transactions like the NEFT and RTGS that are cleared via Bank networks. Deposits/Withdrawals at ATMs could fail.

-With the government yet to flush ample cash into the economy and with the movement towards a cashless economy, a mass Internet outage could affect mobile wallet transactions.

Also ReadInternet in Mumbai slows down as DDoS attack clogs the network

Image source: Flickr user ben dalton under CC BY-SA 2.0