Fixing the web crawl might take 12-15 days


Talking to their son in the US is the happiest point of the day for Mr and Mrs Vohra. Everyday they spend hours chatting to their son on Skype or Yahoo. However, since yesterday they haven't been able to get through.
“We have been facing huge problems getting through on the Internet. We can’t access any websites. When that happens we no other recourse but to switch off the computer and hope that the connectivity will be better the next day,” the Vohras complain. “Internet is the only way for us to stay in constant touch with our children who stay abroad.”
The cause of their worries is a snapped undersea cable near Alexandria in Egypt. The snapping of the cables through the Mediterranean has affected communication links and slowed down Internet services across continents. In India too, users have been facing serious problems accessing the Internet.
Seven fibre-optic cables from Mumbai, Chennai and Kochi connect India to the rest of the world.
The cable network belonging to the Flag Telecom and SMW-4 project are the ones that have been badly affected. SMW-4 is a submarine cable system linking South East Asia to Europe via the Indian Sub-Continent and Middle East.
Indian telecom operators Reliance, Bharti and VSNL own stakes in SMW-4. While restoration work at Reliance owned Flag telecom is on, the traffic has been routed through alternate bandwidth sources, slowing down connectivity. They say that the restoration will work take at least 12-15 days.
While the exact cause of the fault is unknown, claims a ship anchor could have caused the damage. Meanwhile BPOs and call centres have been severely affected.
“All the IT-enabled services like BPOs and KPOs accessing US, UK or the east coast will be badly affected and their service quality delay will be more than about 50-60 per cent,” Internet Service Providers Association member Rajesh Charia says.

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