The local outages had no major impact on the Internet because New Orleans isn’t a major hub for Internet connectivity. A fiber route from Atlanta to Houston travels north of the city, and experienced only minor problems during Katrina, while a Qwest route through New Orleans serving Internet2 experienced more significant outages.
Some New Orleans providers stayed online using generators, including domain registrar DirectNIC, whose employee weblog documenting conditions in New Orleans attracted widespread media coverage, including live interviews with DirectNIC staff on NBC news channels. Datasync, a hosting provider based in Biloxi, Mississippi, was offline for more than 24 hours on Sept. 1-2, but came back online and has remained available.
Providers relying on generator power seem to have fared well in refueling, despite the flodding. “Unlike the northeastern blackout of 2003, or Manhattan outages of September 11, 2001, there did not appear to be significant delayed instability as the result of generator failure or fuel exhaustion,” the report noted. “For the most part outages occurred early and remained.”