An undersea cable carrying Internet traffic was cut off the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai, officials said Friday, the third loss of a line carrying Internet and telephone traffic in three days.
Dubai has been hit hard by an Internet outage apparently caused by a cut undersea cable.
Ships have been dispatched to repair two undersea cables damaged on Wednesday off Egypt.
FLAG Telecom, which owns one of the cables, said repairs were expected to be completed by February 12. France Telecom, part owner of the other cable, said it was uncertain when repairs on it would be repaired.
Stephan Beckert, an analyst with TeleGeography, a research company that consults on global Internet issues, said the cables off Egypt were likely damaged by ships’ anchors.
The loss of the two Mediterranean cables — FLAG Telecom’s FLAG Europe-Asia cable and SeaMeWe-4, a cable owned by a consortium of more than a dozen telecommunications companies — has snarled Internet and phone traffic from Egypt to India.
Officials said Friday it was unclear what caused the damage to FLAG’s FALCON cable about 50 kilometers off Dubai. A repair ship was en route, FLAG said.
Eric Schoonover, a senior analyst with TeleGeography, said the FALCON cable is designed on a “ring system,” taking it on a circuit around the Persian Gulf and enabling traffic to be more easily routed around damage.
Schoonover said the two cables damaged Wednesday collectively account for as much as three-quarters of the international communications between Europe and the Middle East, so their loss had a much bigger effect.
Al Jazeera on outage impact on India
The outages extend from Egypt to Ceylon, and inevitably provoke suspicion of this being the result of deliberate attack on communications by some rogue state or terrorist group.