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Damaged Red Sea cables disrupt internet traffic

5 March 2024 12:18 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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CNN: Damage to undersea cables in the Red Sea is disrupting global telecommunications networks and forcing internet providers to reroute as much as a quarter of traffic between Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Cables belonging to four major telecoms networks have been “cut” causing “significant” disruption to communications networks in the Middle East, according to Hong Kong telecoms company HGC Global Communications.
HGC estimates that 25 percent of traffic between Asia and Europe as well the Middle East has been impacted, it said in a 
statement yesterday.
The company said it is rerouting traffic to minimise disruption for customers and also “extending assistance to 
affected businesses.”


HGC did not say how the cables had been damaged or who was responsible.
South Africa-based Seacom, which owns one of the cable systems affected, told CNN that repairs wouldn’t begin for at least another month, partly because of the length of time it takes to secure permits to operate in the area.
Underwater cables are the invisible force driving the internet, with many funded in recent years by internet giants such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook parent Meta.  Damage to these subsea networks can cause widespread internet outages, as happened following the Taiwan earthquake in 2006.
The destruction of cables in the Red Sea comes weeks after the official Yemeni government warned of the possibility that Houthi rebels would target the cables. The Iranian-backed militants have already disrupted global supply chains by attacking commercial vessels in the crucial waterway.
Reports last week from Israeli news outlet Globes suggested the Houthis had been behind the damage to the cables. Yemeni rebel leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi denied the allegations. “We have no intention of targeting sea cables providing internet to countries in the region,” he said.


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