Three undersea cables in the Mediterranean Sea have failed within minutes of each one other in an incident that is eerily similar to a series of cable cuts in the region in early 2008.
Internet traffic monitoring services are reporting serious service problems in Asia and the Middle East, with significantly higher packet loss and response time. This closely tracks the impacts seen from the cable cuts last February.
Here's a summary from Fibre Systems: "France Telecom observed today that 3 major underwater cables were cut: “Sea Me We 4” at 7:28am, “Sea Me We3” at 7:33am and FLAG at 8:06am. The causes of the cut, which is located in the Mediterranean between Sicily and Tunisia, on sections linking Sicily to Egypt, remain unclear."
"Currently, services are being rerouted to backup cables and satellites," reports Fierce Telecom. "As rerouting measures fully kick in, services are expected to improve by early Saturday morning."
The earlier cable cuts triggered rampant speculation about sabotage, but were later attributed to ships that dropped anchor in the wrong place. The ships' activities were detected through satellite images.
Here's a recap of our coverage of the cable failures in the region in early 2008:
- Ship Anchor Caused Dubai Cable Cut
- Cable Fever and the 'Fifth Cut'
- Submarine Cable Repairs Underway
- Cable Cuts, Coincidences and Conspiracies
- Egypt: Ships Didn't Cut Internet Cable
- Cable Cut Disrupts Middle East Net traffic