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Internet services hit as cable cut off Egypt's coast

Airtel says to avail alternative routes to keep services on

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Many of us who use the internet services of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Tata Communications and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) have witnessed disruption or slower speed in recent days, as a result of a fibre optic cable break off the Egyption coast, close to Alexandria.

There are cuts in the Europe India Gateway (EIG), Telecom Egypt North, South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 (SMEWE4) and India-Middle East-Western Europe (IMEWE). Of these, EIG and TEN, which failed last week, are likely to be repaired completely by April 22. There is no clear forecast for repairing of the SMEWE4 cable, disrupted in the last 24 hours.

“There have been multiple fibre cuts on SMW4, IMEWE & EIG cable systems, affecting the overall traffic between India and Europe. Bharti Airtel is working with the cable consortium for restoration of services. The voice traffic has been completely normalised. All necessary steps are being taken to ensure data services are available to our customers, by routing traffic on alternative routes,” according to a Bharti Airtel spokesperson.

Vodafone did not want to comment on the issue and BSNL did not respond to Business Standard queries.

According to industry sources, the cable systems of Reliance Communications, including FEA, FALCON and HAWK, were not impacted. Interestingly, Reliance has about 200-giga nits of available capacity that can be used in servicing the needs of the impacted operators.

Among the Indian service providers, BSNL and Bharti Airtel use EGI cable. The IMEWE cable is being used by Tata Communications and Bharti Airtel.

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First Published: Fri, March 29 2013. 00:34 IST