If you are having trouble getting email to or from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or the Middle East, it’s probably because a badly dropped ship anchor has damaged an undersea Internet provisioning telecom cable in the Mediterranean, disrupting Internet service throughout India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and the Middle East. The cable, belonging to Flag Telecom, was badly cut when a ship anchored off the cost of Alexandria was told to anchor in a place that was not their usual anchor location – resulting in the anchor dropping on the cable.
“It is a problem off the coast of Alexandria in Egypt. For some reason ships were asked to anchor in a different place to normal – 8.3km from the beach. One of the ship’s anchors cut our cable but there are multiple cuts – we’re not the only company having problems,” said a spokesman for Flag Telecom.
According to the spokesman for Flag Telecom, while a repair ship is already en route to assess the damage, it could take as long as two or more weeks before the cable can be repaired, and regular Internet service restored to the region.
As a result, Internet access – including email to and from the affected regions – may be spotty, shaky, and sporadic for at least the next two weeks.
Additionally, because many companies, including many in the the U.S. and the UK, rely on outsourced IT and customer support services in countries like India, the disruption in service is expected to impact businesses around the world.
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