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Optical Cable in the Red Sea Broken, Internet Networks from Asia and Europe to the Middle East Disrupted

Liputan6.com, Jakarta Undersea optical cables in the Red Sea were damaged, disrupting telecommunications networks and forcing service providers to reroute a quarter of their traffic in Asia, Europe and the Middle East–including internet traffic.

Cables belonging to four major telecommunications networks were even reported to have broken and caused significant disruption to communications networks in the Middle East. This is according to the Hong Kong telecommunications company, HGC Global Communications, as quoted from CNN InternationalTuesday (5/3/2024).

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HGC estimates that 25% of internet networks in Asia and Europe and the Middle East were affected. The company said it was forced to reroute traffic to minimize disruption for customers and also extended assistance to affected businesses.

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However, HGC did not provide detailed information regarding the cause of the optical cable damage or who was responsible.

South African telecommunications service provider Seacom, which owns one of the affected cable systems, said remedial measures would not be implemented for at least another month.

This is due to the long time required to obtain permits to operate in the area.

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Seacom's chief digital officer, Prenesh Padayachee, said that obtaining permission from Yemeni maritime authorities to repair the undersea cable could take up to eight weeks.

Undersea cables themselves are the invisible force that powers the internet. In recent years many cables have been funded by internet giants such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook parent (Meta).

Damage to these undersea networks can cause widespread internet outages, as happened after the Taiwan earthquake in 2006.

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Optical Cable in the Red Sea Broken, Internet Networks from Asia and Europe to the Middle East Disrupted

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