China-US cable won't be fixed until next week

By , IDG News Service |  Networking

A repair ship has been dispatched to the waters off Chongming, China, to fix the
break that occurred Friday morning in the China-U.S. Cable Network, but the high-capacity
fiber-optic cable probably will not be repaired until at least next week, an executive
of network provider Teleglobe Hong Kong Ltd. said on Monday.

Japan-based KDD Corp. has sent a repair vessel from the port of Yokohama to
the site of the cable break, 320 kilometers (200 miles) from Chongming, an island
just north of Shanghai, said Carrie Chan, business manager at Teleglobe Hong
Kong, a unit of Teleglobe Inc. The ship will not reach the site until midweek,
Chan said. After the ship arrives there, it probably will take four to five
days to repair the cable, she added.

The 80G bps (bits per second) cable was severed at about 8:00 a.m. local time
Friday by a ship's anchor, and the ensuing loss of Internet connectivity between
Asia and the U.S. affected many users in Taiwan, Singapore, China and elsewhere
in the region.

Providers of backbone capacity and Internet access have turned to backup sources
of connectivity, but traffic on some replacement links is still congested. In
Taiwan, for example, Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. by 9 p.m. Friday local time had
restored its U.S. Internet connectivity via two other undersea cables, the telecommunications
carrier said in a statement.

Teleglobe, which was providing backbone Internet access to Internet service
providers on two 155M bps connections on the cable, has redirected traffic to
capacity it leases on other submarine cables and started up a T-3 (45M bps)
satellite connection as partial backup for the lost link, Chan said.

The China-U.S. Cable Network began operation in January 2000 with landings
in California, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Guam. A second leg, which will
create a loop and provide backup in case of a failure, is still under construction.

The cable was built by a consortium of carriers that included AT&T Corp.,
China Telecom Ltd., MCI Worldcom Inc., Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. and
Sprint Corp. More than 20 additional carriers, including Teleglobe, have since
joined the consortium.

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