India's VSNL helps restore Internet after cable break

Last week, when undersea cable systems were ruptured in the Middle East, off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt, it caused widespread Internet and telecom outage across much of the region and in Asia.

The cable breaks reported were in the Flag Telecom Europe-Asia cable, owned by India's Reliance Communications, and on the South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) cable, owned by a consortium. These cables serve as the principal Internet connections between the Middle East and westward on to Europe and North America. They also connect the Indian subcontinent and South East Asia.

While Flag Telecom has said that it would start repairs from Tuesday this week on a damaged submarine telecommunications cable linking Egypt and Italy, the Tata group owned Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), a consortium partner and network administrator for SMW-4, has claimed that it restored the majority of its IP connectivity into Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region within 24 hours.

"Our cable layout and design allowed us to survive a double cable failure as well as develop enough capacity eastward across the Pacific for the internet to reach North America and Europe," said Radwan Mousalli, Managing Director - MENA, VSNL.

He said VSNL's success in restoring the service benefited from the built-in redundancy in their network. It leveraged on its bi-directional network that circles the globe, thereby providing both eastward and westward connectivity from all regions. In this case, VSNL said that it was able to restore majority of their Middle East customers traffic utilizing the SEA-ME-WE 3, SEA-ME-WE 4 eastbound and TIC cable following the cut.

Tata Indicom Cable (TIC) is Singapore's first fully Indian-owned, undersea fiber-optic cable that is in operation since 2004. The 3,175-km cable lands in Chennai in India and in Changi in Singapore.

In the case of India, services were largely restored within 24 hours of the cable cut, by diverting traffic through the TIC and SEA-ME-WE 3 cables, VSNL said.

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This story, "India's VSNL helps restore Internet after cable break" was originally published by CIO.

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