Red Sea cable damaged, interrupting internet traffic

 

The recent damage to undersea fiber-optic cables in the Red Sea region is severely disrupting global telecommunications networks, particularly affecting the flow of communications between Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. According to a report from HGC Global Communications, a Hong Kong-based telecom company, cables belonging to four major telecommunications networks have been cut, necessitating the rerouting of at least a quarter of data traffic, including internet traffic. This incident has caused significant damage to communication networks in the Middle East, with HGC reporting that about 25% of traffic between Asia, Europe, and the Middle East has been affected.

HGC is taking steps to reroute traffic to minimize disruption to customers and provide assistance to affected businesses. Although HGC has not detailed the specific cause of the cable damage or the parties responsible, the incident highlights the critical role of undersea cable systems in the global internet and communications networks. Typically funded by internet giants such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta (the parent company of Facebook), these undersea cables are the invisible drivers of the internet, with any damage potentially leading to widespread internet outages.

The damage to the Red Sea cables has drawn international attention, especially following warnings from the official Yemeni government that the Houthi rebels might target the cables. Iran-backed militants have already disrupted the global supply chain by attacking merchant ships in key waterways, and the Houthis are suspected of being behind this cable damage, although Houthi rebel leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi has denied these allegations, stating they had no intention of targeting undersea cables in the region.

The complexity of the repair work lies in the lengthy process of obtaining operational permits. Seacom, a company owning one of the affected cable systems, has indicated that the time required to apply for permits to operate in the region is long, with repair work expected to be delayed by at least a month. This delay underscores the challenges of maintaining and repairing undersea fiber-optic cables in deep-sea environments, as well as the importance of these systems in maintaining smooth global communications.

To ensure the strength and durability of undersea cables, the use of die cast parts during manufacturing and deployment is crucial. These parts, including connectors, joints, and components used to reinforce and protect the cables, must have high corrosion resistance and mechanical strength to withstand the extreme conditions of the deep sea. Therefore, choosing the appropriate materials and processes for producing high-quality undersea cables is essential.

Speaking of die casting, it’s impossible not to mention Honjenny (HJY), a manufacturer with 20 years of focus on die casting, with applications in Medical Casting, Telecom Casting, General Die Casting, and more.

This incident not only highlights the vulnerability of undersea cable systems but also reminds the world of its dependence on these critical infrastructures. As the global communications network continues to expand, ensuring the safety and reliability of undersea cables has become more important than ever before.

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