Feeds

Three simultaneously cut undersea cables under repair

Traffic disrupted between Europe and Middle East

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.