Etisalat internet coverage hit by cable damage

Telecom firm confirms 'unexpected breakdown' in cable that has reduced internet traffic.
CABLE DAMAGE: The breakdown affected internet traffic, Etisalat confirmed. (Getty Images)
By Shane McGinley
Thu 15 Apr 2010 03:38 PM

A telecommunications cable linking Europe and Egypt suffered an “unexpected breakdown” and has resulted in diminished internet traffic in the UAE, Etisalat said in a statement on Thursday.

“Etisalat today announced that the international submarine cable provided by Sea-ME-We 4, in the Mediterranean Sea connecting Alexandria and Marseilles, has had a unexpected breakdown affecting the Internet traffic in the UAE,” the UAE-based telecoms giant said in a statement on Thursday.

Graham Nonweiler, group managing director of Nonweiler Associates, a telecommunications company which has offices in the UK, UAE and the US and monitors global internet cable connectivity around the world, believes that the damage to the cable occurred at around 7:30 GMT, or 11:30am UAE time, on Wednesday April 14.

Nonweiler told Arabian Business that he believes du customers and internet users in other parts of the Middle East have not been affected.

Etisalat said it was working with “the administration, partners and concerned operators for urgent repair works and re-routing traffic to ensure earliest possible restoration of the cables and Internet service.”

The state-owned operator added that it had already taken “immediate corrective steps” to reduce the impact on business customers.

“Etisalat has invested heavily in building a robust network with multiple redundant links to major global Internet hubs in Asia, Europe, and USA, so that the traffic can be re-routed to ensure that Internet services can remain operational at reasonable speeds in the UAE,” the statement concluded.

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