Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ships Impounded for Middle East Internet Cable Cuts

Although Egyptian authorities said that satellite imagery showed no activity around the cable that was damaged off of their coast, Dubai disagrees.

It looks like last week Dubai authorities impounded two ships who were spotted in satellite photos near the damaged cables around the time that they were cut. The ships were identified by Reliance Globalcom, whose FLAG Telecom unit maintains the cables, and which in turn notified the Dubai Port Authority.

Officially, the two ships, the MV Hounslow and MT Ann improperly dropped anchor near the cables and accidentally severed them. When they arrived in Dubai on February 19, the Iraqi and Korean ships were seized. Reportedly, the Korean ship paid 60,000 USD in compensation to FLAG Telecom for repair costs while the Iraqi ship is sitll being held.

Whether other ships accidentally cut the other three cables serving the Middle East and caused a loss of power to a sixth is yet ot be determined. ;).