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August 23, 2012

China Services War-Torn Syria as other Networks Pull Out

By Julie Griffin, Contributing Writer

Recent reports indicate that the chaos in war-torn Syria is only getting worse. The civil war has spilled into neighboring Lebanon, and members of the United Nations, who were stationed at the capital in an effort to end the bloodshed, have withdrawn. Along with the UN, network providers have also withdrawn their services from Syria. So who’s keeping Syria connected? Apparently China.

Sources reveal that a firm in New Hampshire, Renesys, Corp. has traced the majority of Syria’s Online service to a company based in Hong Kong, called PCCW (News - Alert) Ltd. PCCW owns a number of cables that run through the Mediterranean Sea. Before PCCW lent their services, the majority of the country relied on Turkey’s Turk Telecom.

But Turkey, which currently harbors Syrian refugees, pulled its service on August 12. Some reports disclose that Turkey has joined forces with the U.S. for what they are calling “operational planning” in Ankara, to discuss tactics for ending the violence.

It’s speculated that Turkey is among the many nations that are unwilling to connect Syria because Syria’s government controls their Internet. It’s likely that the majority of correspondence with rebel groups depends on the connection. Activist groups have claimed that up to 250 people are killed in Syria daily, but because of the chaos, “it is virtually impossible to verify these figures.”

According to the Associate Press, China is one of Syria’s few allies. Other allies include the Hezbollah group that is backed by Iran. Despite the Iran Sanctions, a contract upheld by the majority of nations in an effort to prevent Iran’s nuclear development project, China’s ZTE continued to conduct business with Iran.

But there are two other countries that Renesys (News - Alert) identified as supplying network services to a smaller portion of Syria: Italy and Germany. Germany’s Duetsche Telekom’s stock has currently dropped by 1.51 percent; Telecom Italia (News - Alert) by 1.54 percent.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.




Edited by Brooke Neuman
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