France Telecom says that a key undersea communications cable has suffered a second failure, just as repairs were being completed at the site of a Dec. 19 cable cut that impaired Internet connectivity for Egypt and India. PC World reports that the Sea Me We 4 cable suffered a second failure in much deeper water about 240 miles off the coast of Egypt.
The latest failure occurred at a depth of nearly 10,000 feet under the Mediterranean's surface, leading cable operators to suspect an undersea landslide or earthquake rather than an errant anchor or trawling net, which are seen as the likely culprits in the Dec. 19 incidents.
France Telecom's cable repair ship, the Raymond Croz, is expected to arrive at the site of the latest incident on Dec. 31 and the repairs now won't be completed until Jan. 4 or 5. The deep water failure of Sea Me We 4 has taken priority over repairs on the Sea Me We 3 cable, which will be repaired afterward.
The Raymond Croz is equipped with a robot submarine that can scour the seabed meters under the Mediterranean to locate the ends of undersea cables that were cut,