In response to public and media enquiries about external telecommunications services after the earthquakes near Taiwan last night, the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) confirmed today (December 27, Wednesday) that external telecommunications services in Hong Kong, including Internet access to overseas websites, IDD calls and roaming calls had been affected by the earthquakes.Nothing whatsover, however, on the front page of Hong Kong biggest ISP Netvigator, except the usual service promotions. No surprise there, though.
"Due to a series of earthquakes south-southeast of Gaoxiong, Taiwan at around 1226 UTC on 26 December 2006, a number of submarine cables passing over the earthquake region were damaged. According to the reports submitted to OFTA by operators, telecommunications users have been facing severe congestion in a number of external services," said an OFTA spokesperson.
Because of the extent of the damages, the congestion is expected to continue for a few days. The operators are now taking emergency measures to maximize the throughput of the existing facilities and using alternative routings to pass the traffic through other directions.
"Operators of the submarine cables have also arranged urgent repairs of the damaged cables. It is expected that some of the submarine cables will take at least five days to repair. OFTA has been liaising closely with all external telecommunications service operators and monitoring the progress," added the spokesperson.
She also advised the general public to minimize non-essential Internet access to overseas websites and not to repeat making non-urgent overseas calls immediately after failures on the call attempts.
Office of the Telecommunications Authority
27 December 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Hong Kong: Earthquake . . . OFTA statement
(Hong Kong's) OFTA Statement on Telecommunications Services Affected by Submarine Cable Damages Caused by Earthquakes near Taiwan: