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Fri 1 Feb 2008 06:49 PM

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Third Middle East submarine cable damaged

FALCON undersea cable linking UAE and Oman cut on Friday morning

Undersea cable operator FLAG is reporting that a third cable in the region has been severed.

The FALCON cable was cut at a point around 56kms from Dubai, just before 6am today. The damage occured on a section of cable linking the UAE and Oman.

Gaurav Wahi, Vice President of Reliance Communciations, parent company of FLAG, told itp.net that the company is in the process of ascertaining the exact cause of the damage.

The impact of this additional cable outage is not clear at present, although UAE telco operator du is reporting "severe congestion and degradation of international voice calls" as a result. The operator said it has been co-operating with rival Etisalat, to rout some of du's voice calls through Etisalat's international network.

Ongoing disruption from the Mediterranean breakages and the fact that Friday is not a working day across the region have made it unclear of the full impact of the latest problem.

FLAG reports that is arranging for re-routing of traffic for its operator customers that have pre-planned restoration services.

A repair ship is expected to arrive at the site in a few days, according to a company statement.

The 2.56 terabit FALCON cable runs from Mumbai in India to Egypt, linking eleven countries in the region.

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