John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Damn Undersea Cable’s Gone Out AGAIN!

Has Architeuthis TCP/IP struck again? Internet and telephone communications between the Middle East and Europe were severely disrupted today when three major undersea data cables running under the Mediterranean between southern Italy and Egypt were severed. Managed by France Telecom, the affected cable systems–Sea Me We 3, Sea Me We 4 and FLAG–carry more than 75 percent of traffic between the Middle East, Europe and the United States, so the potential impact of an outage like this could be enormous. Like severing a major artery. “If there was just one cable down we could have used the other two,” France Telecom spokesman Louis-Michel Aymard told the AFP. “But all three are down so this puts us in a very difficult situation.” A ship has been dispatched to fix the lines, but it won’t arrive until Monday, and it could take until Dec. 31 to repair them. In the meantime, data traffic that would have traveled over the lines is being rerouted through the United States.

The incident comes less than a year after four undersea communications cables were damaged in a single week by what was believed to be a wayward boat anchor. That’s likely the same culprit here.