LR-Fairplay says internet services on the Arabian peninsula are suffering severe disruption after the submarine telephone/data cable SEAMEWE 4 was severed, but says dredging companies have denied any involvement.
"Local media reports indicate that the cable operator is seeking to repair the cut, thought to be 12km off the Egyptian coast. An industry analyst told Fairplay that the cable was laid in the late 1990s and runs from Tokyo to Colombo via Singapore, then to Aden, Suez, North Africa and into the Atlantic. The cable is extremely high density - it carries 10 pairs of fibre-optic cables with each able to handle 100,000 simultaneous phone calls. Regional services are provided by offshoots from the main cable, for example from Aden up to Fujairah," LR-Fairplay explained.
"Initially," said LR-Fairplay, "suspicion focused on dredging companies, which are particularly susceptible to this kind of accident. However, sources from the major international and smaller local dredging companies told Fairplay that none of their vessels are working off the Egyptian coast nor are they aware of any major projects off that coast."