"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Indian / ME Internet connectivity hit by ship's anchors off Alexandria

FLAG Telecom, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Communications, (***) they own and operate the world’s largest private undersea cable system, > 65,000 route kilometers over 4 continents - and growing.

This network serves as a Global Service Delivery Platform connecting 37 key business markets in India, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the U.S. through an overlay low-latency, global, MPLS-based IP network.

Unfortunately ships off Alexandria, Egypt were asked by harbour authorities to anchor in a new location - 8.3km offshore and their anchors made multiple fractures in FLAG telecom's undersea cables connecting their European / Middle East / Gulf / Asian networks.. (UPDATE Friday : 2 cables were cut / damaged , The two cables, named FLAG Europe Asia and SEA-ME-WE 4, are in close proximity...apparently .. Debs at Moon of Alabama is suspicious )

The cables are easily accessible, but repairs will take 3 weeks and result is that internet conectivity from India and Middle East has been hit very badly.

The Hengchun earthquake (7.1 Richter) on December 26th 2006 off Taiwan (LP post) Initially Taiwan's largest telephone company, Chunghwa Telecom Co, said damage to an undersea cable had disrupted 98% of Taiwan's communications with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong.

This resulted in widespread disruption to FOREX trading / stock markets and problems for over 2 weeks in the far East whilst repairs were made.

The Wall Street Journal commented December 28: “Asia, which has seen hundreds of billions of dollars of direct investment in recent years, is home to some of the world’s most earthquake-prone areas, and there are fewer cables connecting Asian countries to each other and the rest of the world than linking the US and Europe, making networks there more vulnerable.”

Apparently there are six cable routes within one system across the Atlantic so that customer traffic can survive even multiple cuts which reduces the chances of an outage dramatically.

The Southern Cross high-speed cable loop,that connects Australia and New Zealand to the U.S. has 2 strands of the loop both run through Hawaii through different islands , which is a seismically active area.

**** Reliance Communications is controlled by 49 year old Anil Ambani , who has 1.35 Bn shares = 66.75% of the company.

Between 1999 to 2002 Reliance Infocomm built the data comms backbone for India — 60,000 kilometres of fibre optics, connecting the whole country. This network was commissioned on December 28, 2002, the 70th birth-anniversary of Dhirubhai Ambani, ( he died one year earlier ) the company's founder and father of the current chairman.

By buying Yipes Enterprise Services for a US$ 300 MN cash in June 2007 the company entered the US telecoms market.

Anils's brother Mukesh runs Reliance Industries and Reliance Petroleum . According to Forbes Rich list ,Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani have fortunes worth $ 20.1 billion and $ 18.2 billion, respectively maling them the 6th and 7th richest people inthe world - said to be equivalent to 5% of India's GDP.

SEA - WE - ME 4 cable route.

Keep your eye on Moon of Alabama for more.


Shutter said...

There is a lengthy informative and discursive article here that tells the history of the FLAG cable ... and a lot else.


December 1996 Wired Magazine Mother Earth Mother Board By Neal Stephenson

FLAG, a fiber-optic cable now being built from England to Japan, is a skinny little cuss (about an inch in diameter), but it is 28,000 kilometers long, which is long even compared to really big things like the planet Earth. When it is finished in September 1997, it arguably will be the longest engineering project in history.

The FLAG system, that mother of all wires, starts at Porthcurno, England, and proceeds to Estepona, Spain; through the Strait of Gibraltar to Palermo, Sicily; across the Mediterranean to Alexandria and Port Said, Egypt; overland from those two cities to Suez, Egypt; down the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea, with a potential branching unit to Jedda, Saudia Arabia; around the Arabian Peninsula to Dubai, site of the FLAG Network Operations Center; across the Indian Ocean to Bombay; around the tip of India and across the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea to Ban Pak Bara, Thailand, with a branch down to Penang, Malaysia; overland across Thailand to Songkhla; up through the South China Sea to Lan Tao Island in Hong Kong; up the coast of China to a branch in the East China Sea where one fork goes to Shanghai and the other to Koje-do Island in Korea, and finally to two separate landings in Japan - Ninomiya and Miura, which are owned by rival carriers.

The signal coming down the FLAG cable passes through the doped fiber and causes it to lase, i.e., the excited electrons drop back down to a lower energy level, emitting light that is coherent with the incoming signal - which is to say that it is an exact copy of the incoming signal, except more powerful.

The amplifiers need power - up to 10,000 volts DC, at 0.9 amperes. Since public 10,000-volt outlets are few and far between on the bottom of the ocean, this power must be delivered down the same cable that carries the fibers. The cable, therefore, consists of an inner core of four optical fibers, coated with plastic jackets of different colors so that the people at opposite ends can tell which is which, plus a thin copper wire that is used for test purposes. The total thickness of these elements taken together is comparable to a pencil lead; they are contained within a transparent plastic tube. Surrounding this tube is a sheath consisting of three steel segments designed so that they interlock and form a circular jacket. Around that is a layer of about 20 steel "strength wires" - each perhaps 2 mm in diameter - that wrap around the core in a steep helix. Around the strength wires goes a copper tube that serves as the conductor for the 10,000-volt power feed. Only one conductor is needed because the ocean serves as the ground wire. This tube also is watertight and so performs the additional function of protecting the cable's innards. It then is surrounded by polyethylene insulation to a total thickness of about an inch. To protect it from the rigors of shipment and laying, the entire cable is clothed in good old-fashioned tarred jute, although jute nowadays is made from plastic, not hemp.

This suffices for the deep-sea portions of the cable. In shallower waters, additional layers of protection are laid on, beginning with a steel antishark jacket. As the shore is approached, various other layers of steel armoring wires are added.

Reda more at the site ... fascinating

Shutter said...

Moon of Alabama has an interesting take on the cuts ( it now appears 2 cables were damaged).


The suggestion being that the spooks wanted to take the opportunity to a little back tracing to those fascinatig jihadists who supply videos of bombed hummers and beheaded infidels.

Which takes one into (C) Conspiraloonacy territory.

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish