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Internet outages disrupted business and personal usage across a wide swathe of the Middle East on Wednesday after an undersea cable in the Mediterranean was damaged, government officials and Internet service providers said.
In Cairo, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said the cut in the international communications cable had led to a partial disruption of Internet services and other telecommunications across much of Egypt.
Other affected countries mentioned in the article include United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain & Qatar.
The Register (UK): Submarine cable cut torpedoes Middle East access [theregister.co.uk]
A submarine cable in the Mediterranean was cut earlier today, resulting in a dramatic slowdown in internet access for people in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and much of the Middle East.
A spokesman for Flag Telecom, the owner of the severed cable, told the Reg: "It is a problem off the coast of Alexandria in Egypt. For some reason ships were asked to anchor in a different place to normal - 8.3km from the beach. One of the ship's anchors cut our cable but there are multiple cuts - we're not the only company having problems."
Reuters via IBNLive (India): Under-sea cable fault cripples Internet in India, Mideast [ibnlive.com]
India said it had lost more than half of its capacity.
"There has been a 50 to 60 percent cut in bandwidth," Rajesh Chharia, president of the Internet Service Providers' Association of India, told Reuters.
Bloomberg (US): Mediterranean Cables Cut, Disrupting Communications (Update2) [bloomberg.com]
Internet and telephone communications across the Middle East and India were disrupted after two submarine cable systems in the Mediterranean Sea were cut.
``It's a national disaster,'' said Joseph Metry, network supervisor at Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, the biggest mobile- phone company in the Middle East and North Africa.
Customers of AT&T Inc., the biggest U.S. phone company, have been affected, spokesman Michael Coe said. While the company is rerouting its clients' traffic, it anticipates congestion since other carriers are doing the same thing, he said. He didn't know how many customers were affected.
Verizon Communications Inc., the second-biggest U.S. phone company, said some customers have been affected by the cable break. The New York-based company is switching those clients to other network routes, said Verizon spokeswoman Linda Laughlin.
(I emphasised the fact that two cables are cut.)
Quoted repair times range from "several" to 15 days...
LOL! Welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com], dustinbrewer!
> mail them copies
It's great to see you're as concerned about bandwidth issues at this time as is Bahrain. :) From the Bloomberg article:
[Bahrain's public telecommunications firm,] Batelco, as the company is known, advised customers to give more priority to applications such as browsing and e-mail, which consume less bandwidth than actions such as file sharing.
When contacted, the VSNL spokesperson said, “There has been a cable cut on several cable systems in Alexandria, Egypt, which has impacted internet connectivity in India. In the case of SMW-4 system of which VSNL is a part, connectivity has been largely restored."
More problems to Reliance who owns FLAG cable
more at [economictimes.indiatimes.com...]
An anchoring ship off Egypt’s Alexandria coast damaged Indian-owned FLAG cable and also SEA-ME-WE on Wednesday morning and urgent repair teams had set sail for the location. An official of Reliance group, which owns FLAG, said the repair will take about 10 days.
Meanwhile, BPOs remained largely unaffected. According to a WNS spokesperson, during the breakdown, the company managed to link up to the US pipleline for its UK processes thereby avoiding any downtime.
I am not sure how much it is going to cost them (it must be a hefty amount) but they said they have been re-routing the traffic through other network partners in Europe and Asia.
It actually happens many times, from the OP:
Cables get damaged all the time but Schoonover believes this was the first time two undersea cables near each other were cut at the same time.
The ISP I use here seem to know how to handle this kind of situations, like the immediate decision to re-route the traffic, but just don't call them for support :)
Large swathes of Asia, the Middle East and north Africa had their high-technology services crippled Thursday following a widespread Internet failure which brought many businesses to a standstill and left others struggling to cope.
One major telecommunications provider blamed the outage, which started Wednesday, on a major undersea cable failure in the Mediterranean.
CNN Story [cnn.com]
[edited by: encyclo at 10:25 pm (utc) on Jan. 31, 2008]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]
Bandwidth providers said they expected India's Internet service to be back to about 80 percent of its usual speed by the end of Friday, a day after Internet service across a swath of Asia and the Middle East was disrupted.
In Egypt, meanwhile, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Tarek Kamil said service would be up to about 80 percent of its usual capacity within 48 hours.
In a separate statement, FLAG Telecom reported that a different undersea Internet cable, FALCON, also belonging to the company, had been cut Friday at 0559 GMT at a location about 35 miles from Dubai, on a stretch between the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the Persian Gulf.
There were no other details on the damage — the first to be reported in the Persian Gulf.
> Last time I remember this happening in Asia it slowed things down considerably but things did not grind to a halt.
From the same, linked story:
Such large-scale disruptions are rare but not unknown. East Asia suffered nearly two months of outages and slow service after an earthquake damaged undersea cables near Taiwan in 2006.