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Sat 9 Feb 2008 11:54 AM

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Internet in Egypt back to normal by Monday

Telecom Egypt official says repairs on second of two cables cut last month almost finished.

Internet service in Egypt should be restored to normal by Monday after repairs to undersea cables are completed, an official at Egypt's state-controlled telecom firm said on Friday.

Repairs on one of the two cables cut last month had been completed and repairs on a second cable were almost done, said Mohamed Nawawy, an official at Telecom Egypt, in remarks carried on state news agency MENA.

Breaks in the cables off Egypt's northern coast and another cut cable between Dubai and Oman had caused internet disruptions in parts of the Middle East and Asia, with Egypt losing most of its capacity.

Repair work on part of the intercontinental cable known as SEA-ME-WE 4, co-owned by India's Videsh Sanchar Nigam, was finished, Nawawy said.

Repairs to a section of the Flag Europe-Asia cable between Egypt and Italy would finish soon, he said, without giving further details.

Egypt has said it did not know if the cables were cut by bad weather. Storms forced the country to close the northern entrance of the Suez Canal around the time the cables were cut.

Egypt's Telecommunications Minister Tarek Kamel had ordered Telecom Egypt to compensate all users with a month's subscription free of charge. Egypt has also said it wants compensation from the undersea cable operators. (Reuters)

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