Friday, February 01, 2008

Mere coincidence?...

OK, having TWO undersea cables cut a couple of days ago was startling for the results that handicapped rising outsourcing powers like India and money moguls like Dubai.

But what the heck is going on now?
A submarine cable in the Middle East has been snapped, adding to global net problems caused by breaks in two lines under the Mediterranean on Wednesday.

The Falcon cable, owned by a firm that operates one of the previously damaged cables, was snapped on Friday morning.

The cause of the latest break has not been confirmed but a repair ship has been deployed, said owner Flag Telecom.

Following the earlier break internet services were severely disrupted in Egypt, the Middle East and India.

There was disruption to 70% of the nationwide internet network in Egypt on Wednesday, while India suffered up to 60% disruption. [More]
Granted, there are lots of cables criss-crossing every major body of water, but what if this is simple test of possible techno-terrorism? (Don't worry - we bloggers are on it!) If so, it points out an interesting weakness for those countries/industries dependent on Internet connections via cables.

But probably not. First, these cables are much smaller than I imagined, and second, this happens all the time.
The lines that tie the globe together by carrying phone calls and Internet traffic are just two-thirds of an inch thick where they lie on the ocean floor.

The foundation for a connected world seems quite fragile, an impression reinforced this week when a break in two cables in the Mediterranean Sea disrupted communications across the Middle East and into India and neighboring countries.

Yet the network itself is fairly resilient. In fact, cables are broken all the time, usually by fishing lines and ship anchors, and few of us notice. It takes a confluence of factors for a cable break to cause an outage. [More]
In fact, like many things we take for granted, I'm surprised the communications network works at all most of the time.

Then again, it could be a US submarine flexing their spy powers.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hey John,

I wasn't sure if you had seen the latest on this. Three more cable cuts that affected the same geographic region.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Too weird...but, I guess.