Middle East undersea cable repairs commence

France Telecom (FT) Marine cable ship CS Raymond Crouze is now on site above two badly damaged undersea telecommunications cables severed on Dec. 19.  

"Sources" say both cables were cut within five minutes of each other, maybe by a trawler net. Right now, the remote submersible Hecter is looking for the ends of the cables and will bring them back to the surface to be laboriously reconnected. If the cables were severed by a trawler net, the cables could have been dragged several kilometers from their last known positions.

FT expects to repair one of the cables by Christmas and the other by the end of the year. A third cut line, operated by FLAG Telecom, will be repaired by a separate ship.

Carriers are more than a little nervous since all three cables connecting Europe with Asia via the Middle East were cut. Until the cables are fixed, service providers must route European traffic through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

It is also not the first time cable service has been cut around the region. In late January/early February, five undersea cables were damaged and had to be repaired.

For more:
- The latest news on the broken Middle East cable cuts. Article.

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