The Red Sea cables were damaged, disrupting Internet traffic


London
CNN

Damage caused Submarine cables In the Red Sea, it disrupts telecommunications networks and forces service providers to reroute up to a quarter of traffic between Asia, Europe and the Middle East, including internet traffic.

Cables belonging to four major telecommunications networks were “cut,” causing a “major” disruption to telecommunications networks in the Middle East. According to Hong Kong telecommunications company HGC Global Communications.

HGC estimates that 25% of traffic between Asia, Europe and the Middle East has been affected. statement Monday.

The company said it is rerouting traffic to minimize disruption to customers and also “provide assistance to affected businesses.”

HGC did not say how the cables were damaged or who was responsible.

South Africa-based Seacom, which owns one of the damaged cable systems, told CNN that repairs would not begin for at least another month, partly due to the length of time it takes to obtain permits to operate in the area.

Underwater cables are the invisible force that drives the Internet, along with a lot of them Funded In recent years by Internet giants such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook parent Meta. Damage to these undersea networks could lead to widespread internet outages, as happened following the Taiwan earthquake in 2006.

The destruction of the cables in the Red Sea comes weeks after the official Yemeni government warned of the possibility of Houthi rebels targeting the cables. Iran-backed militants You already have Global supply chains have been disrupted By attacking merchant ships in the vital waterway.

Reports last week from Israeli news outlet Globes suggested that the Houthis were behind the damage to the cables. Yemeni rebel leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi He denied these accusations. He added: “We have no intention of targeting the submarine cables that provide Internet to countries in the region.”

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The Houthis have since blamed Britain and the United States Military units operating in the area reported damage, according to a report published by the rebels' official news agency on Saturday. CNN has contacted the UK and US governments for comment.

Prinsh Padayachi, chief digital officer at Seacom, said obtaining permits from the Yemen Maritime Authority to repair the cables could take up to eight weeks. “Customer traffic will continue to be redirected until we can repair the damaged cable,” he added.

Other affected networks include Asia-Africa-Europe 1, a 25,000 km (15,534 miles) cable system linking Southeast Asia to Europe via Egypt. The Europe-India Gateway (EIG) was also damaged.

EIG connects Europe, the Middle East and India and has Vodafone as a major investor. Vodafone, a large UK mobile network operator, declined to comment.

The company says on its website website It can send Internet traffic over about 80 submarine cable systems reaching 100 countries.

Most major telecommunications companies rely on multiple submarine cable systems, allowing them to reroute traffic in the event of an outage to ensure uninterrupted service.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed the accusation that British and American military units were responsible for damage to the cables.

Reporting was contributed by Wayne Chang in Taipei, Celine Al-Khalidi in Abu Dhabi, Alex Stambaugh in Hong Kong and Deeksha Madhok in New Delhi.

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