Feeds

Three simultaneously cut undersea cables under repair

Traffic disrupted between Europe and Middle East

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Ships have begun repair work on three undersea cables that carry voice and internet traffic between Europe and the Middle East and Asia after they were severed on Friday.

A robot submarine dispatched by France Telecom has arrived at a location in the Mediterranean Sea where it will locate the ends of two broken cables and bring them to the surface and reconnect them, the BBC reports. A separate ship commissioned by Reliance Communications of India is on its way to repair the third cable, Reuters said. The companies said the work wasn't likely to be completed until the end of the year, a delay that means communications in the Middle East and parts of South Asia could remain spotty.

A submarine robot named Hector is beginning the repairs on the SeaMeWe-3 and SeaMeWe-4, which are cables owned by a consortium of telecommunications companies and operated by France Telecom. A third cable known as FLAG is under separate ownership and operated by a unit of Reliance. The cables were cut within a few minutes of each other, sparking theories that a a fishing net or anchor of a single ship cut all three.

Internet communications to the same region took a major hit in January when four underseas cables were seriously damaged in less than a week. The number of failures in such a short period of time stoked conspiracy theories that they were the result of saboteurs, but experts say it's not uncommon to experience multiple breaks in region given the narrowness and shallowness of the route the cables take.

"The odds are whatever cut one cable cut the other two at the same time, be it a fishing boat, or be it an anchor," said Stephan Beckert, a research director at the TeleGeography Research Group, which provides consulting to major network operators.

For the time being, some companies are re-routing traffic between Europe and Asia, and between Europe and the Middle East, through the US or other out-of-the-way destinations. Companies that don't have redundancy contingencies in place are simply unreachable.

Telecommunications companies are in the process of building four new cables in the region, which are slated to be up and running in the next nine to 18 months, Beckert said. Until then, damage to any of the cables currently in use is likely to result in significant disruptions. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools
Kids need more fiber, says Wheeler, and you'll pay for it
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.