back to article Seabed cables will be fixed by next week

The three - yes, just three - seabed telecoms cables which were broken in two (only two) recent incidents are expected to be fixed by next week, according to the operating companies. The ongoing tinfoil-hat frenzy that has followed the outages may take longer to die down. Reuters reports that Indian telco cable subsidiary FLAG …

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  1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
    Black Helicopters

    Is it really so

    So the guardian PDF of the five or so broken links was wrong?

    Or is this a CIA plot to reassure us the terrrrists aren't winning?

  2. Daniel Dainty

    "wipe the spittle from their monitors"

    "With luck, the conspiracy bloggers will soon wipe the spittle from their monitors and find something else to get excited about."

    But isn't that the whole point of blogging?

  3. Matt

    lies

    Lies!

    It's all Dr Congo - he's gonna torpedo the repair boats then embark on a massive party

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SEE-ME-WEE?

    Somebody had fun coming up with that name.

    Oh, and I'm still waiting to hear the actual cause of these cuts instead of a list of possible "normal" causes.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Hmmm...

    I see that the powers that be have managed to get El-Reg on-message.

    Either that, or Lewis Page et-al have simply been assimilated by the Borg (AKA the Military Industrial Complex).

    I suppose you're also drinking from the same coolaid as the FOX NEWS peeps (I use News in the most euphemistic sence).

    "Once is Happenstance. Twice is Coincidence. The third time is Enemy action".

  6. Andrew Heenan
    Alien

    Neat cover job ...

    ... but we don't have to believe it, spittle or not.

    And as none of the cables have been repaired yet, you don't KNOW that they were 'innocent incidents' do you?

    And you wouldn't tell us if you did.

    So if I had a tin foil hat (which I don't) or a surplus of spittle (sorry, not me), I'd be perfectly entitled to continue in my delusions, the only change being that I'd now recognise you as a servant of the CIA.

    No surprises there, then ;o)

  7. Greem
    Stop

    Causes

    http://www.flagtelecom.com/index.cfm?channel=4328&NewsID=27493

    The one near Dubai was almost certainly an anchor. Unless you really believe the tinfoil hat brigade and suspect that the anchor was planted there just to make you think it was an anchor. In fact, maybe the anchor *was* planted there, to make you think it *was* an anchor, when in actual fact it was a shark? The conspiracy theories are endless, great fun, but the reality is dull and boring. Enjoy.

  8. Sam

    report yet?

    Weren't the repair ships meant to be in position by now?

  9. Neil
    Happy

    I laid that cable....

    Never thought I would hear about that again especially not on The Register...

    I was part of the FLAG (Fibre Link Around the Globe) project in 1994 and was actually one of the dynamic positioning officers that piloted the Cable Layer through the Suez canal and on down the Gulf of Suez and Red Sea.

    I remember these cables being very heavily armoured due to the amount of shipping / fishing and anchoring that goes on in that area - they must have done a proper job to totally break them.

    Oh and see-me-wee is another acronym but can't remember what that stands for.

    On sharks, they do actually like biting telephone cables there is even a bite resistant cable that suposedly doesn't feel nice when they bite it...

    Those were the days... 13 weeks away with 6 weeks off, 12 hour shifts and a nice big bank balance at the end - why did I ever switch to IT!!!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Causes

    The only way to put a tap/split on a fiber cable is to cut it...... U.S.A. have submarine(s) equipped for this type of mission.

  11. Hedley Phillips

    Maybe it was Jaws

    She isn't dead and is still biting cables around the world.

  12. Christopher Martin

    I never got out my foil hat, but the numbers still don't make sense

    If undersea cable faults occur "twice a week", and they obviously take at least several days to repair, surely multiple cables have been simultaneously disabled before (unless of course some well-enforced legislation requires sharks to only gnaw on them at appropriate intervals, etc). How were these few breaks able to cause such a disruption in this normally fault-happy network? Or is this truly just a non-event invented by reporters?

  13. Neil
    Flame

    @ Chris Martin

    These cables don't usually break all the way through.

    Usually there are 8 - 16 pairs of fibre in one cable so damage usually takes out a part of it, so the traffic can be re-routed on another fibre link within the same cable.

    The cable can then be fully repaired at a suitable time in the future.

    However if an anchor / fishing boat or Jaws fully cuts the cable then the maintenance companies have to rush out there and fix it.

    They seem to be a little slow to react this time.

  14. vincent himpe
    Coat

    it was Dr Evil !

    Why else did he need 'sharks with friggin laser beams attached to their heads' ???

    The asbestos coat and lead pants are mine ...

  15. Peter Clarke
    Coat

    Shark Bites

    Maybe it's sharks with frickin' lasers on their heads!

    Coat please

  16. Dustin Marquess
    Flame

    Re: Causes

    "The only way to put a tap/split on a fiber cable is to cut it...... U.S.A. have submarine(s) equipped for this type of mission." - AC

    I would hope that somebody would notice the fiber going from up to down (when it was cut), to up (when it was tapped), to down again (when they were done). To see this happen on 3 links in that time frame would surely ring some alarms.

    Put the tin foil down and slowly back away from the PC.

  17. Bounty
    Black Helicopters

    number of redundant links

    Not all networks have the same amount of redundancy or utilization. If I have 3 load-balancing links to Fairyland and 1 breaks I loose 33% capacity. No problem.

    If I have 2 load-balancing links to Fairyland and 1 breaks I loose 50% capacity. Ohhhhhh my Yahoo! garbage is loading a littler slower. PANIC! CONSPIRACY! TIN! BOUNTY!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    I remember when....

    ...we dropped a repeater off of our cable ship (multimillion dollar error) splash!.... it hadn't been spliced to the cable yet!!!! I don't think we ever found it. (this particular item never made the news) Oh, and we reckoned that the couple of kilovolts cable feed per end (one end + one end -) was what attracted the sharks - the electromagnetic field interfered with their bio-electric sensory system and made them attack. Anybody else work on 10,800 channel stacked FDM?

    I can't imagine the cousins would have accidentally broken the cables whilst splicing, surely the subs did all the cables *years* ago, with barely a framing error.....then there was the russian telecom cable that we laid that had to take a particular route so that.../cut/

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @SEE-ME-WEE?

    Actually SEA-ME-WE

    =

    South East Asia - Middle East - Western Europe.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Causes

    "The only way to put a tap/split on a fiber cable is to cut it...... U.S.A. have submarine(s) equipped for this type of mission."

    I forgot to say, you cut the cable once by "accident", then you go somewhere before the next repeater, and cut it again. You put you equipement there before the 1st cut is repaired.... Pas vu, pas pris.....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "north of Cairo"

    ISTR it was north of Alexandria. Which is also north of Cairo but also similarly north of Nairobi.

    PH likes going North.

  22. Tim Wesson
    Pirate

    Probability

    Anyone done the calculations for the frequency of such specificity for cable breaks?

    The first one selects one of two countries, the second is most probably bad luck, and selects one. After that, we need to break out our Bayesian calculators. The fact that they were in different geographical locations makes the cable breaks somewhat independent.

    How many other cables broke in the meantime?

    My own hunch is that five cable breaks cutting off one country is pretty damn unlikely unless there is deliberate cause.

  23. Joe Cooper
    Thumb Down

    Probability

    "My own hunch is that five cable breaks cutting off one country is pretty damn unlikely unless there is deliberate cause."

    ...It is pretty damn unlikely. Which is why there were actually three cable breaks, and no country actually got cut off.

    But nobody wants to look into that themselves. That's so boooring when you can just take the rumors and InternetTrafficReport.com at face value and spend your research time trying to prove Bush was behind it.

  24. Steve Sherlock

    Food for the conspiracy nuts...

    "The only way to put a tap/split on a fiber cable is to cut it...... U.S.A. have submarine(s) equipped for this type of mission."

    How many people get bored waiting for a webpage to load and hit refresh?

    How many people get bored waiting for a webpage to load and reach for the tinfoil hat because someone must've purposely cut the cable to tap it and reattached by the time they reload?

  25. Seán
    Boffin

    ECHELON

    Everything is already tapped.

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