Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sea-We-Me4 and FLAG Failure Disrupts 620 Gbps of Traffic

The damage to the South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 (Sea-We-Me4) and the FLAG Europe-Asia undersea cables, which both went out of service on Wednesday morning (30-January-2008), is due to a fiber cut in the Mediterranean Sea approximately 19km from the Egyptian coast, according to media reports. The cables are about 400 meters near that location, leading to speculation that the outage was caused by a ship's anchor dragging along the sea floor. An estimated time-to-repair has yet been given by the network operators.

TeleGeography, which tracks undersea cable issues, estimates that 620 Gbps of Internet capacity along the main route connecting Europe to the Middle East and India was disrupted by the cut. This represents 75% of the traffic along the route. With the two main cables out of service, the alternate route is via Southeast Asia and then across the Pacific, North America and Atlantic.