Undersea cable failures point to greater problems

As you may have already read, four undersea Internet cables have been cut or disabled over the past week or so. The cuts have disrupted communications to the Middle East and perhaps more importantly India, which plays host to a wealth of outsourced U.S. jobs. According to the International Herald Tribune, experts and cable operators say sabotage is an unlikely explanation for the problems. However, the publication suggests the cuts point to greater problems with the existing infrastructure.

The IHT quotes Colonel R.S. Parihar, secretary of the Internet Service Providers Association of India, as saying, "This has been an eye-opener for us, and everyone in the telecom industry worldwide." Parihar goes on to say the cuts may have been accidental this time, but that they could be caused by sabotage the next time. "These [cables] are owned by private operators, and there are no governments or armies protecting these cables," he points out. Alan Lauldin, research director for TeleGeography Research, also believes the existing network isn't sufficiently fault-tolerant, saying cable companies "need to make sure their transmission routes are diversified."

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