Globe-spanning SEA-ME-WE 3 sea cable feared cut, broken or ...

ISP issues frag susceptibility warning as routes through Asia slow down

Armoured submarine cable

SEA-ME-WE 3 is a marvel: the 39,000km submarine cable connects 31 nations, has 39 landing stations and stretches from Germany to Japan. Its two fibre pairs each carry 480 Gbits/s, a decent slice of the world's data traffic.

But right now the cable's not at its best because the spur between Jakarta and Singapore looks to have been cut, or experienced some other fault. The fault doesn't mean the whole cable is down, but posters to the Australian Network Operators Group have shared a report from the cable's operators confirming an outage and new routing arrangements in Asia that involve some extra hops and rather a lot of latency.

The operator's site offers no public status information, but downstream SEA-ME-WE 3 users like Australian internet service provider iiNet are advising customers that “Our network partner have advised that the repair ship has arrived at the fibre break point” and warning of “ slower than expected speeds, latency and packet loss to international destinations in Asia. This may result in webpages taking longer to load, as well as impact to time-sensitive activities such as online gaming.”

The cable last experienced an outage in July, resulting in an eight-week degradation of service.

If this fix takes as long, a lot of folks are doing to hope they don't get movie download vouchers under the tree: it may take until next Christmas for their pressies to download. Which leaves plenty of time to cook up some more 'Al Qaeda is training attack dolphins to cut cables and destroy the West" conspiracy theories. ®




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