On Friday I posted about the three undersea cables that were cut, disrupting Internet access in South Asia and the Middle East. Since then, another cable has been cut, and the story is finally starting to get some coverage. The BBC posted about the issue today, and included a really interesting diagram that explains the parts of an undersea cable.
The most interesting article however, comes from the International Herald Tribune:
Most telecommunications experts and cable operators say that sabotage seems unlikely, but no one knows what damaged the cables or whether the incidents were related.
According to the Egyptian government, no ships were in the vicinity of the cables when they were cut. Seems suspicious to me that four cables have been severed in such a short period of time, but who knows. It seems that this bit of Internet infrastructure isn’t as sturdy as one might think.
“This has been an eye-opener for us, and everyone in the telecom industry worldwide,” said Colonel R.S. Parihar, the secretary of the Internet Service Providers Association of India.
Let’s hope the recent incidents result in some action, before the situation gets any worse. Traffic has been re-routed over the last week, but how well would that work if many more cables were cut, say during an attack?
Maybe you’re not convinced that ensuring the safety of undersea cables is important. Consider this:
Undersea cables carry about 95 percent of the world’s telephone and Internet traffic, according to the International Cable Protection Committee, an 86-member group that works with fishing, mining and drilling companies to curb damage to submarine cables.
Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket!