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The Fragility of the Internet?

The Fragility of the Internet?

The Fragility of the Internet?

Last week we had 2 interesting stories hit, both concerning the severing of undersea cables that carry global communications traffic. On January 31st, 2008, the BBC , NY Times and The Guardian reported undersea cable cuts in the Mediterranean. The first incident concerned a cable that was damaged near Alexandria, Egypt, and the second cable was located in the waters off Marseilles, France. The two cables were damaged within hours of each other on Wednesday January 30th 2008. Officials believe the damage was caused by the dragging of ship's anchors during storms out in the sea. One of the cables, Sea Me We 4, is owned by 16 telecommunications companies along its route. The second cable, known as the Flag (for fibre-optic Link Around the Globe) System, runs from Britain to Japan. The outages that were caused by these incidents mainly affected the Middle East and Asia. Most disrupted communications were quickly rerouted through the remaining SEAMEW3 cable or fibres taking the other way around the globe, however some countries experienced widespread impact, with India seemingly worse hit. Of course, India being impacted in this way also had a knock-on impact to the thousands of European and US companies that outsource work to India; from software development services to call centres. What this incident does highlight is the fragility of a global communications network we take for granted. You might be surfing away now on a wireless connection, but once that signal hits your modem or router, chances are that for the rest of its journey it’s going to travel along a physical cable. Fibre optic cables are laid in huge lines around the globe, directing traffic backwards and forwards across continents and streaming millions of conversations simultaneously from one country to another; all it takes is one clumsy ship and it becomes a big problem… This incident may act as a wake-up call to governments and telcos worldwide. A simple accident last week could easily become terrorist sabotage tomorrow… Matt Grest Head of Future Development PlusNet

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It wasn't ships' anchors that damaged the fibres - it was a US operation to prevent Iran launching their oil bourse on Kish Island: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/middle-east-internet-interruption-looks/story.aspx?guid=%7B6FD0D324-8FF9-4900-BCA9-614914BA3E87%7D&dist=morenews kthxbai