75 million left without Internet access after fault in undersea cable

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Route map of the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable link

Service to millions of Internet users in the Middle East and Asia has been disrupted, following damage to undersea cables.

The cables, SEA-ME-WE 4 and FLAG, which provide communications services for various countries — including India, Pakistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia — are believed to have been damaged by a ship attempting to moor off Egypt on Wednesday, January 30, 2008.

One day later, on February 1, the FALCON cable was also reported cut 56 km off Dubai. Repair ships have been sent to both breaks, with capacity to India expected to reach 80% of its usual speed by Friday, February 2.

According to the telecommunications provider Qtel, a fourth cable linking Qatar to the United Arab Emirates was damaged on Sunday, February 3.

A total of five cables being operated by two submarine cable operators have been damaged with a fault in each.


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