Sea Cable Damage Cuts Internet Service to Mideast

Egypt goes offline; India hit with severe delays
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2008 6:59 AM CST
Buildings on Market Street are seen reflected in a Verizon sign in Philadelphia, in this April 30, 2007 file photo. Verizon partially owns the damaged sea cables responsible for internet service disruptions...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Damage to two underwater cables has huge swaths of the Mideast and South Asia offline and repair ships scrambling to restore internet service to millions. One of the cables has been completely severed, the Financial Times reports. Some 70% of Egypt's service was disrupted, including all of Cairo, and bandwidth in India is reduced nearly 60%.

Although the cause is still unknown, a ship's anchor, dropped offshore of Alexandria, Egypt, during a recent storm, is a likely culprit. Verizon, which partially owns the cables, said the repairs could take several days and will require raising the cables from the seabed. “We will consider alternatives for the banking system if this happens again," said the deputy governor of Egypt's central bank.