India off line. Massive internet disruption after 3 undersea cables fail within 27 min.

By | December 20, 2008

Millions of people across the Middle East and Asia have lost access to the internet after two undersea cables in the Mediterranean suffered severe damage.

Huge numbers in Egypt and India were left struggling to get online as a result of the outage, when the major internet pipeline between Egypt and Italy was cut. …  International telephone calls, which have also been affected, are being rerouted to work around the problem.

Industry experts told The Times that two sub-sea cables went down just off Alexandra, causing the mass disruption. It happens to a single cable typically once a year, and companies have developed the fail-safe of redirecting traffic to a second cable should this occur.

“It is incredibly rare to experience a dual-break where both cables are down simultaneously,” said a spokesperson for Interoute, the internet networks company.

The Egyptian ministry said it will take “several days” for cables to be repaired and is trying to reroute Egypt’s internet connections.

Indian ISPs said their problems were due to the cable damage off Egypt. Speaking to reporters, Rajesh Chharia, president of the Internet Service Providers’ Association of India, said: “Information technology companies, software companies and call centres that provide online services to the UK or the US east coast are the worst affected.” – tol

Two cables? No, three. All within 27 minutes of eachother.

Developing Story: See related sources below for continued updates. France Telecom has reported today that 3 major underwater cables were cut: “Sea Me We 4” at 7:28am, “Sea Me We3” at 7:33am and FLAG at 8:06am. The causes of the cut, which is located in the Mediterranean between Sicily and Tunisia, on sections linking Sicily to Egypt, remain unclear.

  • Saudi Arabia: 55% out of service
  • Djibouti: 71% out of service
  • Egypt: 52% out of service
  • United Arab Emirates: 68% out of service
  • India: 82% out of service
  • Lebanon: 16% out of service
  • Malaysia: 42% out of service
  • Maldives: 100% out of service
  • Pakistan: 51% out of service
  • Qatar: 73% out of service
  • Syria: 36% out of service
  • Taiwan: 39% out of service
  • Yemen: 38% out of service
  • Zambia: 62% out of service

How about Iraq?

France Telecom says that it immediately alerted one of the two maintenance boats based in the Mediterranean area, the “Raymond Croze”. This France Telecom Marine cable ship based at Seyne-sur-Mer has received its mobilization order early this afternoon and will cast off tonight at 3:00 am with 20 kilometers spare cable on board. It should be on location on Monday morning for a relief mission.

Priority will be given to the recovery of the Sea Me We4 cable, then on the Sea Me We3. By December 25th, Sea Me We4 could be operating. By December 31st, the situation should be back to normal. – circleID

Is someone sinister secretly sowing seeds of suspicion? Perhaps pirates pilfering.

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