Undersea Cables Cut Again – Reducing India’s Capacity by 65%

Posted on December 20, 2008  Comments (4)

Once again a severed underwater cable has disrupted web access

Internet and phone communications between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia have been seriously disrupted after submarine cables were severed. It is thought the FLAG FEA, SMW4, and SMW3 lines, near the Alexandria cable station in Egypt, have all been cut.

A fault was also reported on the GO submarine cable 130km off Sicily. Experts warned that it may be days before the fault is fixed and said the knock on effect could have serious repercussions on regional economies.

It is thought that 65% of traffic to India was down, while services to Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Taiwan and Pakistan have also been severely affected.

Earlier this year, the same line was damaged in the same area – off the Egyptian coast – although only two lines were snapped then. “We’ve lost three out of four lines. If the fourth cable breaks, we’re looking at a total blackout in the Middle East,” said Mr Wright.

“These three circuits account for 90% of the traffic and we’re going to see more international phone calls dropping and a huge degradation in the quality of local internet,” he added.

“Normally you would expect to see one major break per cable per year. With four you should have an insurance policy. For this to happen twice in one year, on the same cable, is a serious cause for concern.”

Related: How Do You Fix an Undersea Cable?Internet Undersea CablesInternet Underwater Fiber

4 Responses to “Undersea Cables Cut Again – Reducing India’s Capacity by 65%”

  1. Anonymous
    December 29th, 2008 @ 2:00 am

    How do the cables get severed? They’re at the bottom of the ocean…is it marine life, man, or degradation (or something else)?

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  4. mike garner
    June 1st, 2017 @ 1:20 am

    There are many reasons why they get damaged. Fishing activities is a big one. Cables get trawled up. Anchors also account for a fair number too. Seismic activity gets some & intentional damage by humans for various reasons also gets a few. I’ve even seen a shark chewing on one before now.

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