Friday, February 1, 2008

More Internet Woes With FLAG Cable Cut

The Falcon cable, owned by FLAG (Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe) Telecom, was snapped on Friday morning, according to a BBC report.

This is the second undersea cable that has gone down in two days. This latest cable is believed to lie alongside SWM4 undersea that snapped earlier.
The cause of the latest break has not been confirmed but a repair ship has been deployed, said owner Flag Telecom. FLAG is a 28,000km (17,400 mile) long submarine communications cable that links Australia and Japan with Europe via India and the Middle East. SMW4 is a submarine cable linking South East Asia to Europe via the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. The two damaged cables mean that the only cable in service connecting Europe to the Middle East via Egypt was the older SMW3 system, according to research firm TeleGeography.

With respect to Pakistan, blogger Masud Reza is reporting from Pakistan as follows:

"PTCL's additional capacity on SMW3 has NOT been arranged yet. I was expecting it to be operational by yesterday evening. I'll update once that has been done.

Update TWA1 has now (finally) an STM-1 from Singtel on SMW3. However, this is unlikely to improve upon the quality of Internet available on TWA1 since the sold bandwidth is above 2Gbps.

Update After failing to procure STM-4 and multiple STM-1 from Telecom Italia, PTCL is now arranging the same from Singtel. Browsing and Emails etc are working fine on PTCL. However, overall, the service is degraded. If this STM4 and three STM-1s become operational, this would add almost 1 Gbps to the available bandwidth for a total of 4.6Gbps. Internet for PTCL customers would then become 'normal'. :-)

Call Centers in Pakistan are suffering the most since PTCL has an unofficial policy of not opening voice ports (SIP ports, for example) even for Legitimate call centers. PTCL forces customers to get bandwidth directly from them if they want to open the Voice Ports. Still working on that."

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