Cable breaks disrupt internet in South Asia, EMEA

22 Dec 2008

Three submarine cables linking Europe and the Middle East were cut on the weekend, disrupting internet and telephone services in several countries.

According to Reuters, the disruption reduced Egypt's internet capacity by around 80%. Technicians are working to restore capacity by diverting traffic through the Red Sea, and have so far restored capacity to at least 50% of its peak.

But the damage has also caused disruption to countries as far away as Singapore, Malaysia, India and Pakistan. One of the affected cables links 33 different countries.

The damaged cables lie between Sicily and Tunisia. According to the Associated Press, One cable is believed to be fully severed, while two have only been partially cut.

Mumbai-based Reliance Communications has blamed the damages on a ship's anchor, but Rival Tata Communications believes it was caused by seismic activity in the Mediterranean.

A cable ship owned by France Telecom is expected reach the scene of the damage today, and will begin repairs immediately.

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