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Internet woes to continue till end of month

Repair work on faulty submarine cable only began on Sunday due to unfavourable weather

Ongoing repair work on the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable has had a negative impact on Internet connectivity in the Middle East.
Ongoing repair work on the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable has had a negative impact on Internet connectivity in the Middle East.

Repairs on the faulty SEA-ME-WE 4 cable system that stretches from South East Asia to Europe through India and the Middle East was delayed due to poor weather in the Mediterranean Sea.

Repair work to fix the affected fibre pair was scheduled to start on April 17th but got pushed back to April 24th before finally beginning on Sunday.

"...due to ongoing maintenance activity on another cable network servicing Africa and poor weather in the Mediterranean Sea, the actual work only began on Sunday 25 April 2010 resulting in the SEACOM service experiencing interruptions from around mid-day on Sunday," SEACOM said in a statement.

Ongoing repairs have had a negative impact on overall internet connectivity in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. According to SEACOM, operators that have chosen to find alternative channels have been routed to an Internet Access point in India to maintain service.

"The repair work is managed and controlled by SEA-ME-WE 4 who has indicated that the repair window may be extended to Friday 30 April 2010 for reasons unknown to SEACOM at this point," the statement added.

UAE internet service providers Etisalat said they had added alternative marine cable routes to boost connectivity following the incident, which has "significantly enhanced the Internet streaming services such as Youtube site access" but that they prioritise business customers over home users.

Neither Etisalat nor Du have offered an update on the situation but last week said they expected repairs to be over by today (April 27th).