Major Internet service outages in Egypt and India caused by cut fiber optic cables

A pair of undersea cables near the Egyptian port of Alexandria was accidentally ruptured this morning, leading to loss of Internet services for some parts of the Middle East. Speculation says that the cables were unintentionally cut by a ships anchor.

Bad weather could have caused ships in the area to need to drop anchor and sabotage is not suspected at this time.

U.S. based Verizon is part owner of the cables and told the Financial Times it had not yet determined the cause of the cable breakage. A spokesperson says, “We have seen some ships going through an area dragging their anchors.”

The outage led Tarek Amer, Egypt’s deputy central bank governor to say, “We are disappointed [with] the service and will consider alternatives for the banking system if this happens again.”

Reports from India claim Internet bandwidth has been reduced 50-60%, but officials say that a degraded service will be available soon. According to Verizon is could take days to fix the damaged cables since ships have to be dispatched and then find the cables and make repairs to them.

Local media in both Egypt and India encourage users to reduce Internet traffic to a minimum. 

A new and supposedly disaster-proof fiber optic cable is under construction to provide access between the U.S. and Asia with a cost reported to be near $500 million USD.  New cables use different shielding techniques and sheer at designated points in the event of an anchor collision. 

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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