Early reports that indicated only limited damage to the many submarine telecom cables near Japan apparently were overly optimistic. A new assessment from telecom research firm TeleGeography indicates that at least five cables have sustained damage between Tokyo and Sendai.
But the cable damage has had only modest impact on Internet traffic, primarily because network operators have been able to route around the problems by sending traffic over undamaged cables. Most of the cables that terminate in northern Japan also have segments that come ashore south of Tokyo, allowing a workable alternate route, analysts said.
"We’re not aware of disruptions to any of the many cables that land (south of Tokyo),” Stephan Beckart of Telegeography told GigaOm. "All of the cable systems that have reported outages also operate cables that land to the South of Tokyo, so no system appears to have suffered a complete outage."