Saturday, 27 December 2008



The internet and telecommunications between Asia and Europe was reportedly cut down (by most probably trawler nets) between Italy and Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea causing a major outcry for many internet users especially those who rely heavily on the website traffics. Businesses, especially those online ones, call centers, BPOs and others are likely to be badly hit by this outage, which were already undergoing severe economic downfall these days.

At this moment, most of the Asian countries are still experiencing slow browsing, poor throughput and high latency problems as the submarine cables known as SE-ME-WE3, SE-ME-WE4 and FLAG got damaged as early as 19 December 2008 and there were no time frame set for the restoration of all the three damaged cables. It was unclear how long the repairs would be back to normal as the cables might have been trawled many kilometers away from their normal positions and relocating them could be hard tasks. Once located, the cables would be brought to the surface and repair fiber by fiber and it could take days due to their huge sizes.

Bloomberg reported that priority will be to recover the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable, then the SEA-ME-WE 3 cable. There was information from France Telecom that SMW4 could be operating by Dec. 25 and that the situation for SMW3 should be back to normal by Dec. 31. The SMW4 cable, also known as SEA-ME-WE 4 or South East Asia- Middle East-Western Europe 4 cable network, connects 12 countries: Pakistan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Italy and France. A third line, operated by FLAG Telecom, was also cut and will be repaired by another ship. No date was stated for its restoration.

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