About That Barbados Internet Outage

We’ve heard all kinds of reasons for the almost-island-wide shutdown in hi-speed internet service two days ago – so many different stories that we don’t know what the truth is.

Here’s what one little birdie says…

The ‘spottiness’ being experienced with our C&W ADSL hi-speed internet connection service is due to a few known bandwidth hogs who suck up 65% of the bandwidth, due to downloading movies (200+ GIGAbytes each!), illegally, movie after movie, while the rest of us C&W customers suffer the consequence.

Although the problem is known, and the offenders are known and identifiable, nothing is being done to alleviate this problem, other than token amounts of capacity being added now and then, which is of course immediately absorbed (in other words, C&W coulda saved the money!).

IF illegal activity is being conducted via C&W’s services, and they are making the conscious decision of doing nothing about it or are dragging their feet about it, does this not make C&W now subject to a charge of aiding and abetting in this crime of copyright infringement?

If the known movie pirates need to have their services terminated, the thing to do, is to DO SO – withdraw service from them completely. Terminate them – Withdraw their ADSL service totally, and make thousands of ordinary law-abiding customers a lot happier than they are now.

What is the truth?

Like everything else on this island… it may take a while to discover the truth, but it can usually be found if you look hard enough. After all, it is a small island and folks do so love to talk…


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

26 responses to “About That Barbados Internet Outage

  1. Anonymous

    No movie on the planet is 2 gigabytes each. From the time I saw that I said that post is from another misinformed henny penny. The outages occur because C&W has way more high speed customers than its infrastructure can handle. Why does EVERYTHING on this blog centre around conspiracy? It is so sickening.

  2. BFP Cliverton

    Hey Anon

    No, not everything here centres around conspiracies – although I guess you could say that the BLP and DLP are conspiring to NOT introduce integrity and conflict of interest legislation. πŸ˜‰

    And even if our little birdie is wrong on the size of the movies, perhaps his / her point is generally correct about why the place is running out of bandwidth?

    Insofar as “no movie on the planet is 2 gigabytes each” – maybe I’m mistaken here, but I always thought a single platter DVD movie was about 4.7 gigabytes per disk – with dual layer being more.

    But nevermind the size of an individual movie, what do you think about whether the bandwidth shortage could have been a result of too many movies being downloaded?

  3. God Bless David

    Based on my sources, intimate with the details, the main issue is that there is more Peer-to-Peer traffic on C&W’s core IP network than the current infrastructure can handle. Most of this P2P traffic is generated by the illegal downloading/uploading of media files from/to filesharing websites. C&W had written to the chief offenders a few months ago asking them to cease & desist from indulging in this, and at the same time they reduced the amount of resources that could be sucked up by any single user for P2P sessions. However in recent weeks the issue seems to have spiked again, leading to last week’s chronic problems.

    A single P2P session (e.g. a movie download via eDonkey) can require up to 50 times the number of connection resources as compared to just viewing a simple web page from a single web server. That’s because P2P traffic flows are generally comprised of many simultaneous sessions between many “servers” and one “client” when the media files are being transmitted. This activity is one of the biggest resource hogs on Internet infrastructure.

    Apart from the technical implications, C&W is indeed legally exposed by the extent of copyright violations implicit in this P2P traffic…so we’ll have to wait and see how much tougher they get on the offenders now after these damaging and embarrassing network outages… They do have the capability to throttle back drastically on the volume of P2P traffic traversing their network, or even kill it entirely.

  4. Bajanboy

    I think the outage had something to do with a Domain Name System server problem. The DNS server converts Internet name that humans understand (microsoft.com) into IP addresses that computer systems understand (

    An increase in network traffic would not cause the Internet service to fail, but merely slow down as more and more people would be forced to use a finite resource.

    Most Internet Service Providers have a fair usage policy, which seeks to deal with those customers who use more than their fair share of available bandwidth. For example, Sunbeach terms of service state:

    Sunbeach reserves the right to refuse service to any user if management considers that the user is ‘hogging’ the service and negatively affecting the service’s usage by other customers.

    Some ISPs have specific download quotas that are designed to deal with the small percentage of customers who are downloading using peer-to-peer services and whose activities degrade the performance of the entire network.

    Has anyone from BFP called Cable and Wireless and asked them what went wrong?

    In this day and age, such prolonged outages are completely unacceptable and cost the country millions in lost productivity. Imagine the consequences if the Internet should fail for a day in the US, Canada or the UK.

  5. Justasking

    Remember when we had the power outage recently due to the ‘monkey business” the BL & P were very proactive in keeping customers informed and making apologies, in fact they made numerous apologies every time an official spoke during and after the incident.

    One would have thought that by now C & W would have come to the public and explained what the problem was and APOLOGISED!

    As far as I know hardly a word. Arrogance and indifference to their customers as usual.

  6. Hants

    When you pay Cable and Wireless for internet service you must get what you paid for.

    Not rationalise why they can’t deliver.

    You pay for a service and you should get it.
    If C&W needs more infrastructure that’s their problem.

    The Customer has to pay them for service or be cut off or even taken to court.

    Bajans need to put this issue on Brasstacks.

  7. Ancient Adages

    Doing business in Barbados (any category of business) is akin to shooting fish in a barrel,
    just ask B’dos.Shipping & Trading!

    C&W is still a virtual monopoly, and they can do as they like.

    Remember the Golden Rule..
    he who has the gold, makes the rules.

    Here’s another:
    “Freedom of the Press”
    belongs to those who own one!

    We could go on and on here,
    but I think you get the point.

  8. bp

    Has anyone switched to Telebarbados/Freemotion? I have and am so much the happier for it.

  9. Disposable Arts

    This has to be the most dumbest post I’ve ever seen followed by even dumber replys (with the exception of hants).

    Clive, The amount of data a DVD can hold has absolutely nothing to do with how big a movie can be…..i have movies that are 650mbs with great quality…..what makes a movie grow so large when placed on a dvd disc is that the format is changed, so that a normal dvd player will be able to read the disc…..and this format drastically changes the size of the movie, in which 325mb movie can change to around 3gbs or more.

  10. DFX

    If these guys are downloading ISO images the files are going to be 4.7GB each and I know guys who are downloading 5 to 10 of these at a time using bit torrent. But that is not what is important here anyways. If these guys continue this habit C&W will put a download limit on all of us and we don’t need that. This post is not stupid! It’s fair warning of what can happen if the abuse continues. Be Warned!

  11. Why would any sensible person waste time downloading an iso image of a MOVIE?

  12. BajanNew Yorker

    1,000MB’s = 1GB
    2,000MB’s = 2GB

    Get the picture people so please stop getting carry away with the numbers when it comes to MB vs. GB.

  13. BajanNew Yorker

    Disposable Arts,

    I do not and can not see how the hell a “325mb movie can change to around 3gbs or more.”

  14. I do not know about all the technical rhetoric going on but I find this strang and am directing my comments to Clive at BFP.

    I heard about your website from a Bajan and could not bring it up in Ontario. On checking with a local Bajan he said he was getting it fine and it must be a problem in Ontario.

    Well i am now in Southern California and this past Saturday and Sunday I could only get this website for an hour and each time I tried my computer timed out. But here is a funny thing.

    While this was going on in California a frien of mine in Calgary Alberta said that he got the site OK on Saturday. So what is the real problem as it seems far more complex than C&W

  15. Aegis

    C&W ADSL Internet service in Barbados
    died again today, Jan.29th., at around 10:30 a.m.
    I never got mine going again until 8:30 p.m. – not good – another day without internet, for me.

    There must be lots of ppl switching providers ..away from C&W, going over to TeleBarbados,
    if not switching, certainly thinking of switching.

  16. Pat

    I feel sorry for you guys. I get frustrated when my system slows down and I just have to reboot it up. But loss of service? I would demand some of my money back. Or revert to dial up and find another provider.

  17. BajanNewYorker, you just made yourself a complete idiot. luckily for you i believe in spreading knowledge, so pay attention.

    1000mbs DOES NOT equal to 1gb….the correct number of MB’s would be:
    1024 Mbs = 1 Gbs
    2048 Mbs =2 Gbs
    Do your research before making an idiot of yourself next time.

    The following links are screen shots i took from my computer to prove how huge a movie can get when transcoded to dvd format.

    (If the images appear small just click on them to view the original size

  18. Hey Pat, it wasent that bad, just a little outage, nothing to go change ISP’s for.

  19. Hants

    I wonder how C&W is going to cope during CWC2007.
    I hope they have a plan for all the Sports journalist from so many countries firing Video and images over the net.

  20. Bajanboy

    Disposable Arts:

    It was not “just a little outage”. It was off for most of the day, for the second time in a week. When you have a business that relies on the internet and e-mail, it is extremely disruptive and costs us money when we have to Fedex or Quickpac information just in case. It affects the quality of the service we offer when we cannot respond to e-mails immediately and cannot provide information as requested.

    We should not accept modiocre service and normal. I lived in Canada for five years and never remember the internet not working even for a few minutes.

    I have scheduled an appointment with Telebarbados sales rep to see if they can offer a more reliable service.

    God bless competition and choice!!

  21. Bajan Boy you are correct nothing replaces “COMPETITION” look at the food prices in Bim and what you pay for a car. But I digress how can people doing business function or compete properly with “bush” league internet services?

    We are a computer oriented world in almost every sense and any Nation like Barbados posing as a Developing Democracy and claiming to be the up and coming Nation in the Caribbean is certainly not disp-laying this especially to foreign based businesses in their Nation. I wonder how the Off-shore sector can work with this type of service.

    Anyway bo I have to watch what I say because people down there is jump pun me very quickly to point how good the service at the QEH and dat de mekkin more mestakes and shooting people at we hospitals up here. So I gine let the Bajans live in their perfect world.

    But ya know what embarasses me and this has nothing to do with politics but common sense and life.

    Most if not all of the black people who have done well and can make a difference in vocations like the press, their own businesses etc are now doing exactly to the average less fortunate black person more so the poor like what they always claimed that white people were solely responsible for doing. Treating them like garbage!

  22. Pingback: Barbados: A Carnival Timetable Prevails

  23. abajan

    My LIME dial-up internet connection has been working very poorly for about a month now. Many times the computer states that it’s connected when it really isn’t. (Well, it may be connected to LIME but not to the Internet: When that happens and I place the mouse over the connection icon on the taskbar, it states that 218 bytes have been sent and none received.) At other times it connects for about 5 minutes and then stops. If I wait long enough (sometimes as long as half-hour or even longer) it starts working again. My anti-virus application (AVG Free) needs updating to version 8.5 but that’s a 59 MB download (practically impossible with this nonsense happening. I tried downloading it via my download manager but that method isn’t working for this particular download.)

    I thought it was a problem with my modem modem until I discovered a few weeks ago that my niece was experiencing the same problem. Then I found out that they’re people with high speed connections experiencing similar issues.

    LIME hasn’t even had the courtesy to send me an email about the situation. Why on earth am I paying $59 a month for this lousy service? WAKE UP LIME! 😦

  24. abajan

    Just a quick note to let everyone know that my Internet connection is working properly again. It came back a few days ago. My niece’s connection is also back to normal.

  25. A-Fish

    You need to switch Providers to Telebarbados.

    LIME isn’t reliable when it comes to Internet. A Sour provision of service and a questionable Broadband packages.

    I think for sure Government is at fault especially the Fair Trading Commission entirely. They failed to cater most consumers needs time and again and these excuses must stop immediately.

  26. carolle

    My boyfriend lives in bridgetown and for the last 8 days no contact at all, is this the reason why, the internet is down all over the island I have been trying to find out for days now. can someone please help with this. knowing the reason might help