Last week DailyTech reported that a pair of undersea cables was cut leading to a loss of 50% to 60% of the bandwidth typically available in the Middle East.
Egyptian authorities originally reported two cables were cut by fishing boat anchors. CNN now reports that three cables serving the Middle East have been cut. The two cables last week include the FLAG Telecom FLAG Europe–Asia cable and SeaMeWe-4 on Wednesday January 30. On Friday February 1 it was announced that a third cable was severed leaving Dubai with no Internet connection.
As of Friday FLAG Telecom states it is unclear what caused the breakage of the undersea cables according to CNN. Egypt's Ministry of Communications reversed its statement since Friday, claiming now that no ships were present when the first two undersea cables were cut.
The ministry released a statement saying, “A marine transport committee investigated the traffic of ships in the area, 12 hours before and after the malfunction, where the cables are located to figure out the possibility of being cut by a passing vessel and found out there were no passing ships at that time.”
The Egyptian ministry also added that the area where the cables are located, which is about five miles from the port of Alexandria, is a restricted area and ships are not allowed in the area. No further speculation on what could have caused the three cables to be severed is available at this time. Officials estimate that full service in Egypt won’t be available for another ten days.