Severed cable disrupts web access

Reports from the Mediterranean indicate that two of the undersea cables severed and repaired earlier this year have been cut again, disrupting internet access and phone service between the Middle East, Europe, and parts of Asia. An additional third cable is down in the same region.



The cuts are causing traffic to be re-routed through the United States and elsewhere.


Egypt’s communications ministry tells the Associated Press that the outage has almost completely killed internet services throughout Egypt.


A second report indicates that the three cables that are out include the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable (also known as SMW4), which went out at 7:28 a.m. local time Friday morning; SEA-ME-WE 3, which went down at 7:33 a.m.; and the FLAG EA cable, which went out at 8:06 a.m. The cables were cut in the region where they run under the sea between Egypt and Italy. They carry an estimated 90 percent of all data traffic between Europe and the Middle East. SMW 3 and SMW 4 are owned by groups of phone companies; FLAG is owned by Reliance Globalcom.


The SMW 4 and FLAG cables were among five undersea cables damaged earlier this year in January and February in the Mediterranean, launching a flurry of conspiracy theories before investigations revealed that at least one of the cuts was caused by a ship’s anchor. When those cables went down, SMW 3 was used to re-route traffic. But this time, SMW 3 is reportedly involved in the outage as well.


A France Telecom report listed 14 countries affected by the current problem. The Maldives are 100 percent down, followed by India, which has 82 percent disruption. Qatar, Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates were the next most widely affected areas with about 70 percent service interrupted. Disruptions for Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan range from 51 percent to 55 percent.[source]





This is not a petty internet cable,but are a major link for internet and phone traffic between Europe and the Middle East and Asia.I needn’t rant on what information-ON TIME-means in today’s world.I wonder why such an important network or cable of high priority is vulnerable to breakdowns for reasons,as silly as ship’s anchor or storms..err,and of course unknown obscure reasons.


When it happened the last time, there were four cable cuts.The first two affected India, Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Bahrain. The third one is between the UAE and Oman. The fourth one connected Qatar and the UAE. This one may not have been cut, but taken offline due to power issues.


The first three have been blamed on ships’ anchors, but there is some dispute about that. There were lot of conspiracy theories then.India is no more a ‘just another third world nation’..We handle a major percentage of e-business and to us,.If BPO centers are unable to deliver service,ON TIME,there is hell lot of economic and monetary implications involved.. Time is money.The last time this happened, IT-enabled services in India had suffered,and its the time this time too..And in regard to the effects of this network blackout in Middle east,an article refers to US-Israel conspiracy .


“The area is also marked on maps as a no-go zone and it is therefore ruled out that the damage to the cables was caused by ships,” a statement from Egypt’s communications ministry said.

An official at FLAG, an India-based company that owns two of the severed cables, called the timing “a coincidence” and said he wouldn’t “get into conspiracy theories.”

 The timing, location and dramatic aftermath of the cable cuttings have led to murmurs of Western conspiracies to deprive Iran of Internet access or to allow American spies to monitor e-mail sent from the Islamic world..[source]



Whatever be the reason,I hope better sense prevails among those who manage this.To me,its just that I can’t browse newspapers and my blog,so it doesn’t matter as to “How is this gonna affect me and Why am I bothered”.But it may not be of same priority to business firms..and not to forget the breach of security.



Good day







I just realized that there was/is hell lot of discussion going on in regard to this.Google the query if interested.As of now,I am feeling dizzy reading all that.

  1. Dont understand everything in this… but now i know its not my server’s problem since yesterday.. !!!! lol

  2. Gee that doesnt sound good. But I never understand these things so I dont know who to blame.

  3. This is quite an indepth post. Yes, there could be more to this than what meets the eye…

  4. Nimmy I know I have been facing frequent disruptions in blogging. I click on submit and find net’s not working, then again all’s fine, and I close a bunch of tabs to open fresh blogs to read, and then suddenly I have lost the earlier pages and no new ones will open. It’s frustrating for blogaddicted people like me. Tough times we are facing. Could be the same problems?

  5. Nimmy, that was quite an informative post. I do hope that there was an innocent reason for the cuts.. The conspiracy theory, if true, is quite scary, especially at a time where India has so much at stake in the information industry. Wondefully researched post !

    • thearmyguyspeaks
    • December 20th, 2008

    Oh my.. I am a conspiracy buff… totally raised on X files !! Hehe… I believe it is a conspiracy!!

    • thearmyguyspeaks
    • December 20th, 2008

    • Nimmy
    • December 23rd, 2008

    @Dhiran,lol..welcome to my blog 🙂

    @Cris,lol..Same here ear..Its all a messy messy web.

    @Pradeep,I am glad that you got my point.Even I felt something fishy,but not sure what it is 🙂

    @IHM ,true,its annoying..Sometimes,i would ahve typed a long comment and the moment it is submitted,connection is gone..grr..So i have stopped submitting comemnts,even in here,for the time being..

    @Smitha,thanks dear..Lets hope there isn’t anything as mentioned in the post..Its creepy that somebody is tapping information from in and out of country..

    @armyguy 🙂 Thanks for coming..

    Good day to all and I apologize for the late replies..

  6. u knw what was good abt the cable cut? we got some relief in our work… i m not trying to be selfish.. but thats what I am 🙂 🙂 😛 😛

    The entire business got affected..silly in world so high on technology things like these happens..

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