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How One Clumsy Ship Caused A Major Net Outtage 264

Ant writes "Here is an interesting world map of various Internet connections, showing how it took just one vessel to inflict the damage that brought down the internet for millions."
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How One Clumsy Ship Caused A Major Net Outtage

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  • Huh (Score:5, Funny)

    by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @12:27PM (#22273488)
    This ought to be tagged as coming from the "Lack of Redundancy Department".
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      This ought to be tagged as coming from the "Lack of Redundancy Department".
    • by julesh ( 229690 )
      This ought to be tagged as coming from the "Lack of Redundancy Department".

      The only strange thing is that if you look at the map, there's plenty of redundancy. All the affected countries had to do is route their traffic east rather than west and everything would have been fine (if, perhaps, a little slow). Why, then, was the failure so catastrophic?
      • Perhaps that wasn't something they were allowed to do. Matter of fact, this being the Internet and TCP/IP, if such were possible it should have just happened.

        Something must have gotten in the way.
      • Re:Huh (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cheater512 ( 783349 ) <> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:57PM (#22276364) Homepage
        Look at Australia for the moment.
        We have one line going from Brisbane to Hawaii and another from Sydney to New Zealand.
        They are both part of the same network.

        A few years back one of the cables got cut while the other was under maintenance.
        All our internet was routed through the two western cables.

        Do you realize how slow it was?
        Dialup was severely affected and if you got 1kbps you were very lucky.
        Thats just for a small 20million person country back in the day when everyone didn't have net.

        Fast forward to today with high speed broadband and about 90 million people affected.
        Yes data will be re-routed but it will probably be faster to snail mail Google asking for your search query.
        • Re:Huh (Score:4, Insightful)

          by pclminion ( 145572 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:13AM (#22280006)

          Do you realize how slow it was? Dialup was severely affected and if you got 1kbps you were very lucky. Thats just for a small 20million person country back in the day when everyone didn't have net.

          We've become so spoiled. Bandwidth has made us lazy. Why, 1 kbps is basically a 9600 bps modem. I used to do practical things on the Internet as those speeds. Just getting on your average web site these days would take too long for comfort. And what do we get in exchange? A lot of flashy graphics and advertisements.

          Oh well.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by pev ( 2186 )

            We've become so spoiled. Bandwidth has made us lazy. Why, 1 kbps is basically a 9600 bps modem. I used to do practical things on the Internet as those speeds.

            We used to get by using postal mail delivered by hand and taking weeks to get between countries. People got practical things done then. Of course now peoples systems and methodologies have adapted to the 'current' ways of working making it impractical to 'go back' for many.
  • Injustice (Score:5, Funny)

    by QuickFox ( 311231 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @12:28PM (#22273502)
    All those virus writers struggling so hard, and then a simple ship gets all the bragging rights.
    • by NJVil ( 154697 )
      If there were any justice it could at least have been a storm to bring the Internet down rather than competing naval technology.
    • What?!?! (Score:5, Funny)

      by mouko ( 1187491 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:05PM (#22273796)
      I thought we had agreed that it was George Bush that cut the cables. Did everyone change conspiracy theories while I was away?
      • Re:What?!?! (Score:4, Funny)

        by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:14PM (#22273874)
        That's the problem with these things. The big names get all the credit. Proper recognition should be given to the CIA trainers who spent countless hours training and outfitting the fleet of herring that did all the actual grunt work. Heck - you think training squirrels is hard... you should try herring.
      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by QuickFox ( 311231 )
        Don't worry, Bush still gets far more damage bragging rights than any virus writer.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by symbolic ( 11752 )
        It wasn't Bush. He couldn't find a plane that would survive the plunge into the ocean.
      • by jez9999 ( 618189 )
        Bush was captain of the ship.
      • Bush? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KZigurs ( 638781 )
        I thought it was CIA or whatever name they are doing their secret operations under now screwing up major:
        1) existing splices rerouted thru existing infrastructure
        2) one of links fail
        3) splices give up and sever connection as it cannot be reliably copied anymore...

    • by TheQuantumShift ( 175338 ) <> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @02:17PM (#22274356) Homepage
      All it takes is one laid off programmer to get his captain's license....
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:21PM (#22275994) Journal
      All those virus writers struggling so hard, and then a simple ship gets all the bragging rights.

      Some fisherman took "trolling the internet" a little too literally.
  • 3rd cable cut (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vivekg ( 795441 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @12:30PM (#22273514) Homepage Journal
    So far they found 3 cable cuts. According to this BBC article [] - A third submarine internet cable is severed in the Middle East, compounding global net problems.
    • Re:3rd cable cut (Score:5, Informative)

      by aminorex ( 141494 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:10PM (#22273846) Homepage Journal
      Two in the Mediterranean, another between Suez and Dubai somewhere, which is not in the Mediterranean at all.
      The nation of Iran appears to be entirely disconnected from the Internet by these events: []
      • Re:3rd cable cut (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Skreems ( 598317 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:43PM (#22274114) Homepage
        How reliable is that site? Because it also claims that Colombia and part of Germany are completely absent from the internet...
        • Colombia (Score:4, Informative)

          by puto ( 533470 ) * on Saturday February 02, 2008 @02:54PM (#22274730) Homepage
          i will answer that. I am a half ass colombian(colombian pop) . I grew up in the states, but lived and worked in Colombia for a time, and know, or at least knew their infrastructure fairly well. Colombia at one point in time had two internet companies. EPM(emtelsa) which is state run and owned. And Telesat, which is privately owned, Enrique Biaz I think was the CEO, offered me job around 2002 when I was running around there. I just didnt want to move to Cali. I liked Manizales. Anyway Telesat in Colombia is the link that is down, so one provider is down, not the entire country, because most people use the Emtelsa, or whatever the have evolved into. So while telesat link is down(I think they have changed their name) the country is still online for most everyone else.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by floydman ( 179924 )
          Colombia is not down..

          unknown-ff-ff-00-ff-ff-ff:~ floydman$ ping
          PING ( 56 data bytes
          64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=110 time=327.604 ms
          64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=110 time=333.573 ms
          64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=110 time=324.541 ms
          64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=110 time=324.487 ms

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by emilper ( 826945 )
        it's not disconnected. Try this : []

        Nobody was disconnected: besides the submarine cables, there are land cables and satellite connections, and the copper cables of old, which were used by telecoms.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:01PM (#22275788) Journal
      They have a survey on that page: "Have you been affected by the disruption to internet services? You can tell us your experiences using the form below:"

      Something tells me such a survey would not be very scientific.
  • Wrong (Score:5, Funny)

    by slashmojo ( 818930 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @12:39PM (#22273580)
    Obviously this is the result of U2 manager Paul McGuinness calling on ISP's to disconnect [] the evil file sharers of the world..

    "To great applause from the audience of music managers, McGuinness insisted that disconnection enforcement would work."

    How right he was! ;)
  • Send Them a Bill (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @12:51PM (#22273678) Homepage
    They should follow the example of the telephone company. Find the owners of the ships and send them a bill for the repair costs. That will get their attention.
    • Re:Send Them a Bill (Score:5, Informative)

      by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:23PM (#22273962)
      They should follow the example of the telephone company. Find the owners of the ships and send them a bill for the repair costs. That will get their attention.

      Actually, ships are governed by maritime law, which is designed to protect and encourage commerce; I'm not sure if they even would be responsible for damage from an anchor to a cable lying on the seafloor. From my limited recollection, vessel owners liability is generally the value of the vessel (not including the cargo).
      • Re:Send Them a Bill (Score:5, Informative)

        by linuxscrub ( 58289 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @03:47PM (#22275186)
        I believe that many/all undersea cables are mapped.

        Ships/captains plying international waters must have up-to-date info. If they damage a cable that is on the maps, they are responsible.

        See the great WIRED article from Neal Stephanson on the laying of FLAG: []

        OK, it's an article from 1996, but it's one of the best WIRED articles (and looong) ever (back before they were owned by Conde Nast)

        L. Scrub
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Tablizer ( 95088 )
          Ships/captains plying international waters must have up-to-date info. If they damage a cable that is on the maps, they are responsible.

          Some speculate based on weather in the area that they were just trying to stabilize themselves in a storm so that they didn't drift into solid structures. It may come down to bits versus human lives.
      • Re:Send Them a Bill (Score:4, Informative)

        by KZigurs ( 638781 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:36PM (#22276134)
        Not really. If this is a ships fault - ignoring directions to anchor, marked warning signs (and there are a lot of them), causing an accident - recovery is very much possible and actually happens all the time with minor regional cables being cut by idiots (ish one incident every 6 months).

        The fun part is the fact that when you touch the backbone cables suddenly the [direct] damages rises in a few orders of magnitude. And at that point it becomes more economically feasible for insurer to pull up any lawyer around than just to shrug it off.
  • The text is completely illegible.

  • "The whole subsea franchise operation is due to change dramatically in the next 18 months, but the question is how we cope in the meantime. You always have to assume that this kind of thing is going to happen."

    Does anyone know what they mean by this?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ColdWetDog ( 752185 )

      Does anyone know what they mean by this?

      Not me. The whole stupid article was a whole stupid article. One ship hit all three cables? Which ship? TFA attests that a ship's anchor hit hit the cable(s). No affirmation. Nothing. No wonder we don't read the damn articles.

      IIRC, the first two cables cut were 22 km apart. That's a pretty good anchor drag. Not saying it's impossible - it's a big, wide ocean with lots of aging freighters run by crews that likely had to be brought on ship via the crane.


  • I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JoeCommodore ( 567479 ) <> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:05PM (#22273788) Homepage
    Sure you can see from the map they pulled the cables way too tight, but given the line width those things must be like 2 to 5 miles wide. :-)

    Seriously as previous slashdot postings, one or two accidents may be a coincidence but three within a few weeks sounds more like a pattern.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LrdDimwit ( 1133419 )
      If you look at the actual map (the most interesting part to me), you see that in other parts of the world, the cables do this nice fanning out process -- the undersea cables between New York and Japan, for instance -- but because of the way the continents of Africa and Europe are arranged, they pretty much have to run a whole bunch of cables cables thru a narrow strait. This is a rough time of year for weather, and the aftermath of the first incident just means more traffic is added to that route (as peopl
  • by the_other_chewey ( 1119125 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:06PM (#22273804)
    The image linked from the summary does not depict the physical locations of cables, but is a schematic of existing connections between points on the globe. The lines in that image have not much to do with where the cables actually are. A more realistic representation of (a subset of) the world's submarine cable networks would e.g. be this big PDF [] or, in a more comprehensive view, that one [] (sold for a mere $350 :-| ).
    • by jimmyswimmy ( 749153 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:54PM (#22274202)
      Interesting drawing. I was amazed to see that Cuba has no subsea internet connection at all. It's kind of interesting to see one of the larger countries in the area completely circumnavigated like that. Out of curiousity I looked to see what connection they use, and it looks like a completely satellite-based service from, judging from the traceroute responses and the huge delays which occur at that hop. Neat.

      Guess that's one way to avoid having your internet connection destroyed by an anchor...
    • by grumling ( 94709 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @02:43PM (#22274604) Homepage
      I love that they put the installation and maintenance vessels on the high seas. Reminds me of the 17th century maps showing sea monsters in unexplored areas.
    • by hey ( 83763 )
      Cool map. Seems that Alcatel Lucent did about 50% of the cables.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by anticypher ( 48312 )
      The Alcatel-Lucifer map shows only fibres that Alcatel Fibre and Submarine Systems built, plus a few that Lucent brought to the clusterfuc^Wmerger from the old AT&T Long Lines. It is very much a subset of the total fibre under the sea, although Alcatel is now the largest undersea fibre company since Tyco (née AT&T Long Lines) pretty much handed the market to the French.

      the AC
  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:09PM (#22273838)
    But the Internet has become too centralized for even basic self-healing envisioned by TCP/IP researchers. Egypt is not an island and should have had many smaller capacity links to it's neighbors as well as satellite connections run by different companies. Every ISP and phone company in the world should have an agreement to provide emergency routing outside the usual patterns.

    I was hoping the news would be "cable cut, millions of surfers notice a slowdown in streaming video".
    • by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <.hobbes. .at.> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @04:36PM (#22275560)
      True, but that ignores the economic reality, and a few more factors.
      1. We're talking about (relatively) poor countries, so the budget for massively redundant infrastructure simply isn't there.
      2. Cables across land are easy when the region you go through is politically stable. It's another matter when there's a war going on. For example, Egypt shares borders with Sudan, and a cable going West from Egypt would cross Algeria.
      3. Cables across hundreds of km of undeveloped desert aren't cheap to install or maintain. It's much easier along existing infrastructure, but even then it's an expensive business.
      4. Items 1 and 3 combined mean that you'll get a few high-capacity links instead of multiple smaller-capacity links.
      5. The telecom tradition of 100% uptime is typical of first-world countries. In Africa, people tend to be more accepting of the occasional outage. See #1.

      Also, how much redundancy is enough? Currently, Egypt has 3 major links (FLAG, SEA-ME-WE 3 and SEA-ME-WE 4) to Europe, and 3 (the same cables) to Asia. They're all separated, so a single incident would take out (ballpark) 1/6 of their bandwidth. Severing 3 cables in one week falls under 'shit happens', IMO.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pixel.jonah ( 182967 )

      Every ISP and phone company in the world should have an agreement to provide emergency routing outside the usual patterns.
      Typically the failover would be at the cable level. This is something they do. Here's the T&C for SEA-ME-WE4 for example (pricing included): "Use of SMW4 to Restore other Cable Systems []" PDF
  • by blacklabelsk8er ( 839023 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:11PM (#22273852) Journal
    Think of all the 1's and 0's flowing into the ocean right now?! The cost to the environment here is appalling. Someone turn the valves on that internet backbone, stat! Think about the animals!
  • by ZWithaPGGB ( 608529 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:12PM (#22273860)
    Caused by politics and telco monopolies created a network without redundancy. A combination of the infeasibility, due to the political situation, of overland links through the middle east and central Asia, and the hidebound Indian telco not providing sufficient redundancy in connections out of the country, never mind the total misallocation of resources inside it, are the cause of this. TCP/IP is specifically designed to recover from link outages, if it doesn't, you've got an improperly designed and/or operated (statically, as opposed to dynamically, routed) network.

    Good news for US and European IT workers though: that buffoon who offshored your jobs has to explain why the IT department has been down for a few days. I guarantee the CEO/CFO is not amused that he can't get to SAP, or that the stores can't upload, or that whatever other mission critical system is off-line isn't working.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 )
      They aren't total outages like you seem to think. There is redundancy. The internet is slower in those areas because some of their links are severed, but it's not out.
      • by hughk ( 248126 )
        Some bigger companies will have connectivity but those hanging off smaller ISPs don't. My Wife's company has an office in India and they have lost data completely outside India but not voice.
    • by hughk ( 248126 )
      If you are sorting out PVCs (effectively leased circuits with guaranteed bandwidth), you normally get some kind of fall back option where they switch you somewhere else and maybe trim your bandwidth. If you really care about connectivity (i.e., connectivity between market participants and markets) you will go to different providers and make sure they liase so as to route via different cables (I guess that's where that $350 map comes in handy).
  • See it to believe it (Score:5, Informative)

    by __aaqvdr516 ( 975138 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:18PM (#22273914)
    The cable that was cut is in a common anchoring point for ships waiting to transit the Suez. The Suez canal is only large enough to allow transit in one direction, which leads to a pileup of sorts at one end to the "lake" in the center. As a point of reference here's a picture of a US carrier entering the Suez canal. []

    Off into the distance you can see the anchoring area. All the cables except the one that goes around the horn of Africa go through this channel. Maybe now it doesn't look so far fetched?

    • by anticypher ( 48312 ) <anticypher@gmail. c o m> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @10:59PM (#22278858) Homepage
      I don't know where you are getting your information from, but hire a proctologist to put it back for you.

      There are no fibres running on the bottom of the Suez canal, all the fibres take an overland route. There are three major Egyptian landing areas in the Mediterranean, two west of Al Iskandariyah (Alexandria), and one to the east of Port Said, well away from the entry to the canal. The cable routes overland are now quite redundant, as cable cuts happen so often in Egypt every company now has at least two routes with circuit protection. On the Red Sea side, there are at least two landing points, at Abadiya and one across from there on the eastern side of the sea.

      All the cable landing zones are quite well marked on shipping charts (my google skills have failed me, I can't find an online chart site for Egypt, similar to this one for the UK []). Ships are not supposed to drop anchor in those zones, no fishing allowed, no recreational boating, etc. At least in Europe, boaters can get a pretty heavy fine for dropping anchor in a restricted area, big enough that any captain who values his vessel/career knows to stay out of the areas. I doubt Egypt has such draconian enforcement, but the charts are clearly marked.

      For the two cuts off of Al Iskandariyah, there was a large storm in the eastern Med the day of the cuts, gale force 7 winds with large swells. So the local authority moved the anchorage area to west of Al Iskandariyah, and many ships ended up anchoring in the restricted zone, dragging their anchors as they were pulled along by the strong easterly winds.

      Only one cable near Egypt was cut at first, the second major cut was near France, which took out FLAG. There was then a third cut in the Egypt area, of the same FLAG fibre, but by a different ship dragging anchor. So FLAG got hit double hard.

      The most recent cut was somewhere down off of Dubai, which took out even more capacity. It's been an interesting week, as European banking traffic to the Emirates now has to flow all the way around the world the wrong way, and many of the intermediate carriers are choking on the traffic.

      the AC
  • Everything into NYC? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thesolo ( 131008 ) * <> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:38PM (#22274078) Homepage
    Looking at the east coast of the US of the linked picture, it appears as though every single underseas line is going into New York City, with only a few also extending to Miami. Why is the east coast so non-redundant? Especially given NYC's recent history of being a prime target for terrorism, it seems as though you'd want lines also going into other major urban centers on the east coast, such as Washington DC, Boston, Philadelphia, etc.

    Does anyone know of a reason it's all being piped into New York?
    • New York is about the closest point in the U.S. to Europe. It also has a history of being the demarcation point for trans-Atlantic cables. For instance, I believe the first undersea cable was New York to London. Undersea cables are expensive, so they try to keep them as "short" as possible.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by grumling ( 94709 )
        Newfoundland to Ireland. []

        There is also a natural shelf along most of the route.
        • Newfoundland is part of the U.S.? Excuse me, I need to go have a chat with some mapmakers.
          • by grumling ( 94709 )
            From your earlier post:
            I believe the first undersea cable was New York to London.

            The first Transatlantic cable was not NYC to London. Of course, rereading your post, I now see that you meant the London to Paris cable. The North American and European telegraph network were well along before someone came up with the funding for a Transatlantic cable.
    • Why do so many of those transatlantic cables seem to land in New York?

      Two Reasons: Geography and Routing

      1) Geography: First, the Guardian's map is a little oversimplified. Most of those cables come ashore in Eastern Long Island or along a relatively narrow stretch of New Jersey coastline, about 50 miles south of NYC proper. They're in those places because of submarine geography. The sea floor isn't flat- there are mountains and canyons, etc. Ever tried to run network cable through a crowded office? Pain in
  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:41PM (#22274100)
    I've definitely noticed a drop in sales calls from indian call centres over the past few days. I normally suffer from a few a day, maybe 2 or 3, but it's been wonderfully quiet for aq couple of days now - bliss!
  • Governments have also become directly involved, with the Egyptian communications ministry imploring surfers to stay offline so business traffic can take priority. "People who download music and films are going to affect businesses who have more important things to do," said ministry spokesman Mohammed Taymur.

    And here's a big difference with the US. If the US were in the situation of limited bandwidth, we would all be encouraged to stop sending email to give priority to those shopping on iTunes.

  • Faster connections/downloads/etc in the countries not affected? Are we seeing a decrease in spam right now?
  • As we learned from the movie Hackers [], computer networks should be taking down ships, not the other way around. Has the whole world gone topsy-turvy on me?

    Maybe there's some sailor/hacker out there called Ahab-Override who can save the day...
  • It is not the ship's fault. The cable installer should have buried them properly. Movement of silt on the sea floor could have exposed the cable and caused it to be strung 'in the water', in which case it can be snagged very easily.
  • A ha! (Score:2, Funny)

    by drewmoney ( 1133487 )
    My suspicions were correct. The cross-section clearly shows that the outer layer of the cable is actually a TUBE!
  • by AlpineR ( 32307 ) <> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @02:41PM (#22274588) Homepage
    The "World cable capacity" plot at the bottom of the map is misleading. Total capacity is 7.1 tbps and used capacity is 2.1 tbps. They visualized the values as circles, so the ratio of areas should be 7.1:2.1. But instead they set the diameters to that ratio. The result is that capacity appears 9% used when it is actually 30% used (and 80% purchased).

    The "Internet users affected by the Alexandria accident" plot to the left uses circles correctly.
  • One ship cutting one cable is plausible, but unlikely. One ship cutting two cables, is odd and barely explicable, but possible if the cable engineers were really, really stoopid. One ship cutting 3 cables? Ah, no, we're not that gullible...this is a planned attack. For what reasons, I can only guess, but since the EnRon days bandwidth has been a commodity and so I'd guess it's someone playing nasty with the commodities market -- just like they do with energy futures. I say this is more likely than some atte
    • by grumling ( 94709 )
      I live close to a major railroad tunnel. Rail right of ways are often used by telecom companies for inter-LATA and long haul connections. If you look along the rail line, you will see underground cable markers for Quest, MCI, AT&T, and I know for a fact that Level3 leases/trades fiber with Quest. A few years ago there was a train derailment in the tunnel, which cut at least Quest's cable (which also took out Level3, and in turn Comcast's Internet).

      Last summer there was some underground work being done o
      • by drwho ( 4190 )
        Back when I was involved with FO the industry was still run (for better or for worse) by 'phone guys', who were using fan, balding white guys with poor interpersonal skills. But their dogma had a strong believe in designing for reliability.

        Data centers were designed with FO carefully coming in rom different streets on different ends of the building, and there were carefully worded legal agreements which would prevent their upstream carriers from doing anything that would threaten the data center's redundanc
  • It looks from that map that Sweden and Norway don't have any cables connecting them across the Baltic Sea to the rest of Europe. So they must get their connections from landlines across their huge, mountainous and largely unpopulated peninsula, all the way back to Finland, Russia etc. It's a short run across the strait to Denmark, which already has at least one cable landing terminal, and probably 80%+ of Norwegians/Swedes live right there. I wonder why they don't run that cable. Undersea rights of way have
  • Ireland in Peril (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @03:34PM (#22275072) Homepage Journal
    There's only a single cable on that map connecting Ireland to the Internet. The English Channel has lots of shipping. That seems like something the Irish government would want to get fixed right away. Maybe another cable to Britain.

    Or better yet, a cable to France, for not just geographical diversity but also geopolitical diversity. A cable to the Netherlands would give even better interconnectedness.

    And of course it would be even better if that connection landed somewhere else than Dublin, so there's no failure bottleneck point.

    Any extra cables would also increase Ireland's overall Internet bandwidth. As that country climbs out of the Industrial Age (and really the Farming Age), it'll need more than one cable. Especially if it doesn't want to get squeezed by some "bottleneck master".
  • On the cable map, Greenland looks only slightly less vulnerable than Asia (its like I'm playing Risk). Good thing that kind of redundancy was clearly thought out from the start. Wouldn't want to lose communications with the metropolis of Nuuk or the 12 faculty members at the University of Greenland [].
  • by Zymergy ( 803632 ) * on Saturday February 02, 2008 @04:12PM (#22275356)
    Seems like under Maritime Law, items abandoned/sunk/lost on the sea floor in International Waters are subject to being recoverable and salvageable?

    These cables DO contain valuable metals in them like copper, aluminum, and steel (probably stainless)? []
    (I do realize that some of the recent cable cuts are not in international waters, but is still is an interesting query.)
    I am not endorsing any harm of, nor the "salvaging" of any undersea cabling.
    However, there are many, many others in the world who do not have the same sense of right and wrong (and virtually all of these examples are NOT in International Waters.) []
  • In 2004, the signs in the river next to manhattan warning ships of a submerged gas pipeline [] were removed -- I assume it was fear that someone would try to do this on purpose. But, I think that the increased chance of someone damaging it by dropping anchor outweighs the chance of intentional damage... but I feel safer now that these safety signs have been removed (sarcasm).
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:02PM (#22275790)
    The InterNet's parent, the military ArpaNet, was designed with no head or center, in order to survive a major war. Root name servers are a bit of a weeakness. But wayward ships and elementary school hackers seem have a good shot too.
  • by kilodelta ( 843627 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @09:48PM (#22278356) Homepage
    Is that since the cable cut my spam folders and inbox have been blessedly free of spam! I always say, you want to cut the crap with email and phishing, cutoff the net connections to Africa and Asia.
  • Whew! (Score:3, Funny)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @10:50PM (#22278792)
    This explains why I haven't heard back from my Nigerian banker.

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer