Ship's anchor cuts cable, slowing Internet access : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

International access grinds to a halt Chris Janz 20 September 2001

INTERNET traffic slowed to a crawl today after a ship's anchor cut two links between Australia and the United States. The anchor is suspected to have damaged two cables off the coast of China, reducing available cable bandwidth by about two thirds.

The cables, China-US and SMW3, are key to the Reach international network, which is used by Telstra and half owned by the carrier. Reach spokesman Martin Ratia said information about the damage was limited. "The area of the damage is about 30 kilometres off Shantou on the Chinese mainland," he said. "There is damage to some circuits on both cables but the extent of that damage is yet to be confirmed."

Voice traffic had been restored via other cables and internet traffic was being restored via the Southern Cross network. However, users could expect the internet to remain congested for some time.

Telstra spokesperson Kerrina Lawrence said the BigPond broadband and dial-up networks were affected by the outage. "As a lot of the content that people access typically comes from international sites, many users will experience dramatically reduced responses," she said. "We're doing everything that we can at this stage."

An Optus spokeswoman said the carrier had not experienced any significant capacity problems as a result of the cuts. "Most of our traffic is routed via the Southern Cross network," she said. The carriers responsible for the affected cables are investigating the damage.

Singapore Telecommunications has responsibility for SMW3 - or SEA-ME-WE3 - and Concert, an alliance between AT&T and British Telecom, oversees the operation of the China-US cable.,3811,2902390%5E442,00.html

-- Rich Marsh (, September 20, 2001

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