January 31, 2008

Reliability, the Internet and India

Many parts of Asia, the Middle East and north Africa are without Internet access for a second consecutive day after a cable was cut on the bed of the Mediterranean between Italy and Egypt yesterday. A ship’s anchor is thought to have been responsible.

The accident led to major disruptions in the Internet supply for Egypt, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, and as far a field as India. Repairs may take upwards of two weeks... it's on the bottom of the sea, after all.

Some doctors in the Ft. Wayne area outsource their medical transcription to India, cheaper you know...

But for the companies that outsource, they got a shock yesterday when two cables suffered unconnected but simultaneous damage.

The first just offshore Alexandria in Egypt where it is described as "cut." The same fate has been applied to another cable close to the shore in Marseilles, France.

The cables were not managed by the same companies and there is no suggestion that there was any foul play.

But the effect was that a huge area was - and in some cases remains - affected. The French cable runs from France, around India and across to Singapore. Slow internet has been reported across South East Asia today.

For the purchasers of outsourced services, this provides a major thrust with regard to both service level agreements and ensuring that service providers have fail safe systems - not just for the more common electricity outages but for major breaks in the comms networks.

No comments: