Damaged cable slows Internet access

PHUKET: Access to large parts of the Internet has been slow, if not impossible, since Sunday when an undersea telecoms cable was damaged between Taiwan and Japan. It is unclear what caused the damage. One source at a local Internet service provider (ISP) said the damage was caused by sharks mistaking the cable for a large fish. But Thitiporn Panichphol, Customer Care Unit Manager for ISP KSC, told the Gazette that the only information she had received from the Communications Authority of Thailand was that the fiber optic cable had been damaged between Taiwan and Japan, and that engineers were working to fix it. “I understand that the cable was in very deep water – about 700 meters down. That is why it is taking so long to fix it. I don’t know how it was damaged,” she said. She added that she hoped the repairs would be completed by the end of May. “It has affected the whole of Thailand,” she said. Because the cable is one of the main links between Asia and the US, the damage particularly affects those who use email services with servers in the US, such as Hotmail, or those trying to access websites hosted on servers in the US. Kanjana Adulyanukosol, biologist at the Phuket Marine Biological Center, poured cold water on the shark-attack theory. “Sharks normally don’t live in very deep water,” she said. “If the cable was laid on the ocean bed, it is very unlikely that a shark bit it.” An officer at the Phuket Telecomnuications Center agreed. “It would be impossible for a shark to do this because the cable is on the seabed, in very deep water, and is very large. The only possible cause is that it was damaged by a boat anchor,” he said.

Phuket News
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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