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Massimo Candela, Enrico Gregori, Valerio Luconi, Alessio Vecchio: "Dissecting the Speed-of-Internet of Middle East", Proceedings of the 22nd IEEE Global Internet Symposium (GI 2019)

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The process of geolocating Internet hosts from their IP addresses using delay measurements highly depends on the measured speed-of-Internet (SOI). This parameter can differ in different areas of the world due to the circuitousness of Internet paths. In a previous work we have discovered an anomaly in Middle East: the SOI is much slower than in other world regions. In this paper we confirm this anomaly by the means of measurements collected with RIPE Atlas. We analyze the topological and geographical properties of Internet paths in Middle East and compare them to European ones to highlight the reasons of this anomaly. We show that the traffic between two endpoints in Middle East is highly subject to circuitous paths, due to a low incidence of Internet eXchange Points and a scarce interconnection among countries in the region, which inhibits the locality of Internet traffic. In particular, neighbouring countries do not communicate directly, instead Internet paths often traverse even different regions before reaching the destination. This increases delay and circuitousness, and in the end reduces the SOI.