Damaged Cable Disrupts Internet in the Middle East

A breakdown in an international undersea cable network disrupted Internet links to Egypt, India and Gulf Arab countries on Wednesday, and Egypt said it could take several days for its services to return to normal. It was not immediately possible to gauge the impact of the disruption on financial institutions. Egypt's telecoms ministry said 70 percent of the country's Internet network was down and India initially said it had lost over half its bandwidth. "This cut has affected Internet services in Egypt with a partial disruption of 70 percent of the network nationwide," the Egyptian ministry said in a statement. Residents of Gulf Arab countries also reported a slowdown in Internet connectivity.

The Bahrain Telecommunications Co said its services were affected after two undersea cables were cut near Alexandria, on Egypt's north coast. The Egyptian telecoms ministry said it did not know how the cables were cut or if weather was a factor. Storms had forced Egypt to close the northern mouth of the Suez canal on Tuesday. India also reported serious disruptions to its services and Rajesh Chharia, president of the Internet Service Providers' Association of India, told Reuters: "There has been a 50 to 60 percent cut in bandwidth." Chharia told the Headlines Today news channel that a "degraded" service would be up and running by Wednesday night, but full restoration would take 10 to 15 days. "The big operators have transferred their small broadband connectivity through the Pacific route, and that's the reason there's no hue and cry in the country," he said.

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I'm having problems here in Saudi Arabia too ...
DLing speed is 15--22KB\s on my 1Mb\s DSL line ... usually it's about 115--122KB\s T_T ...

we had the same problems in baltic countries like 4 years ago, cable got broken under the sea in latvian waters or something, took them week to fix it and it wasn't even fixed by local operators. We had one of the biggest European ISPs working on it.

Cable repair ships and associated equipment isnt cheap. I think most small countries would rely on paying larger companies in other countries money to fix these kind of faults.

I'm living this nightmare in Egypt. Now depending on 3G network but it's also slow. I thought undersea cables are shielded and strong enough, how is the hell 2 cables were broken at the same time, and Alexandria was in blackout for 30 minutes.

Here in Lebanon our internet connections are via satellite.. mmm that what ive been told. My ISP is from Germany.. that what my IP tells me.

Heh yep. Hopefully most call centres in India won't be working. I would love to punch the person who thought of Indian call centres.

Heh yep. Hopefully most call centres in India won't be working. I would love to punch the person who thought of Indian call centres.

Its funny how some companies actually see it as a feature of their service and advertise that their call centres aren't in India, its like saying "we don't make this **** in Chine, we promise!".

Actually, I'm from Israel and am also experiencing slowdown for (about) the past 2-3 days... Maybe it has something to do with it? Connected via 012GoldenLines ADSL at 2.5MB downstream.

I tried downloading Opera this morning on my LINKdotNET 1Mbit line, and I got a speed of 4.0 kbit/sec. I have to admit that I am thankful that we were rerouted; last night was a total darkness to me.

Oh noes, Indian call centres.

I prefer Indian call centres, at least I don't have to listen to a support agent saying 'words' like "dude" & "cool".

(SimpleRules said @ #2.1)
Oh noes, Indian call centres.

I prefer Indian call centres, at least I don't have to listen to a support agent saying 'words' like "dude" & "cool".


Maybe you do, but when I can't tell what they are saying at all or talking so fast I dont know what they just said... it is very frustrating...

(neufuse said @ #2.2)

Maybe you do, but when I can't tell what they are saying at all or talking so fast I dont know what they just said... it is very frustrating...

My favorite is when they say their name is "Mike Williams" or some other American or English name. I tell them my name is Tarbash Kimmal. It's a funny thing to do. You should try it.

That's crazy! I can't imagine fixing an undersea line would be a quick job, as you would first have to find the problem.

Exactly, you can measure the line's distance by the resistance and impedance. We do so in the electrical world with the underground power lines. However, under the sea would be much more difficult if only for the difficulty in repairing it, if it can be done underwater or has to be repaired above ground.

Most undersea cables are optic fibre based. Still you can work out distances via multiple methods, including which repeater the signal gets to from each end