Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Connexions? We have connections (update)

Connexions? Noun, chiefly British: dictionary

It was only after the earthquake off the southern tip of Taiwan on 26 December 2006 severed IDD and Internet links that users hereabouts learned most international telecommunications are routed eastwards along undersea cables through the Luzon Channel and onto (and through) the USA -- regardless of final destination.

For the American security services, this long-established eastbound routing has, since at least post-9/11, proved to be a a mighty useful facility in their so-called War on Terror. How so? Because of the routing of a good chunk of international telecom traffic through continental USA they are able to scan and sniff most such telecom traffic emanating from the Far East, easy-peasy. But I digress.

In the Far East, connections on Ye Olde Internet have been restored.

Yet accessing some web sites can be grindingly slow -- most especially of an evening when local traffic congestion is at its most congested. It doesn't look as if things are going to improve any time soon:
Workers couldn't apply any electrical technologies or dispatch a robot, as the damaged cables are 4,000 meters deep under the water, said John Walters, general manager with Global Marine, one participant in the repair.
It will be a long time before Internet access is fully recovered between Asian and the US as workers are using "technologies of the 19th century to solve problems of the 21st century," Sina.com said today.
Workers have to adopt a method used in the 19th century to identify the location of the slender cables, whose diameter is about 21 centimeters, Walters said.
No single cable has been fully repaired till now, Walters said.
Read more? Repair lags over poor equipment, weather: Shanghai Daily Thanks, Gavin!

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