Undersea Cable Whac-A-Mole Game Continues

    December 29, 2008

The people and businesses that rely on the SeaMeWe-4 underwater cable for Internet connections cannot be happy.  Although repairs following a December 19th incident were more or less completed on schedule, a new break has screwed things up yet again.

The FLAG Europe-Asia, GO-1, SeaMeWe-3, and SeaMeWe-4 cables were all damaged 10 days ago.  SeaMeWe-4 was the first to be fixed.  Now, James Niccolai reports, "Engineers from France Telecom had just finished repairing the Sea Me We 4 cable on Dec. 25 when the same cable broke again in a different place, this time 388 kilometers (241 miles) off the coast of Alexandria in Egypt . . ."

Cable Map

So a repair ship known as the Raymond Croz is going to pick up more cable from a base in Sicily and take a second crack at repairing SeaMeWe-4.  SeaMeWe-3 will be placed on the figurative backburner while this occurs.

But things aren’t quite as bad this time as last.  Work on the FLAG Europe-Asia and GO-1 cables should continue according to plan, since they’re owned by a different company.  And, if we’re to seek out more positive results, satellite Internet providers in the Middle East and South Asia are almost certainly getting rich right now.

Look for some semblance of normality to return by January 5th.  The cause(s) of all the cable damage hasn’t yet been determined.