Damaged submarine cable now fixed, says Etisalat
Operators are now re-routing traffic back through the fixed Sea-Me-We 4 cable, with normal service expected by this evening, according to an Etisalat spokesman
Frustrated internet users in the UAE may finally be able to get back to watching video clips on YouTube and uploading pictures to Facebook, following today's announcement that the damaged submarine cable largely responsible for connecting the country to the rest of the world has been fixed.
The Sea-Me-We 4 cable has been out of action for two weeks, and although UAE internet providers Etisalat and Du say bandwidth has not been affected because traffic has been re-routed, users have complained of dramatically reduced speeds.
Earlier today a spokesman for Etisalat told CommsMEA: "[The repair work] has been completed and now all operators are re-routing their traffic. This will take some time, but by tonight, it should be back to normal."
Repair work to fix the affected section of the cable was scheduled to start on April 17th but it was pushed back to April 24th due to bad weather in the Mediterranean, before finally beginning on Sunday.
The Sea-Me-We 4 cable runs from South East Asia to Europe through India and the Middle East. According to telecoms consultancy firm TeleGeography, the route from Europe to the Middle East suffers from a shortage of spare, unlit, capacity.
It estimates that the Sea-Me-We-4 cable accounts for 89% of currently lit capacity on the route, which it says leaves operators with few options for restoring service in case of an outage.