Cable Cut Takes Egypt Offline

Broken connection off Sicily affect most of country
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 20, 2008 8:09 AM CST
An Internet cafe is seen empty in Cairo, Egypt, Friday Feb. 1, 2008.   (AP Photo/Ahmed Yassin)
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(Newser) – Egypt suffered a large-scale Internet outage after cables in the Mediterranean were cut, the Communications Ministry said yesterday. Three Internet cables were cut off the coast of the Italian island of Sicily yesterday morning, the ministry said. The cause of the cut was not immediately known. Throughout Egypt, the Internet is almost completely down or working sporadically.

The ministry says it will take "several days" for cables to be repaired and is trying to switch Egypt's Internet to an alternative route through Asia in the meantime. It was the second large-scale outage in the country this year. Undersea cables were also damaged in January, causing outages in the Mideast and India. Yemen and Sudan were also having phone and Internet difficulties because of the cable cut.