Aussie Net traffic jammed by cable mishap

Internet traffic to the United States came to a grinding halt in Australia yesterday as the Southern Cross undersea cable network went down for the second time in the past week.

SYDNEY (ZDNet Australia)--Internet traffic to the United States came to a grinding halt yesterday as the Southern Cross undersea cable network went down for the second time in the past week.

Services were brought to a standstill for three hours last night, when a back-up cable suffered hardware problems.

With the main submarine cable connecting Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii to the West Coast of the US still severed since last week, last night's power failure was a double blow to the cable network which promises an uninterrupted supply.

Southern Cross Cable confirmed the network had sustained another “break” yesterday, leaving service providers who use the cable out of the US loop.

However, Telstra claims its BigPond broadband service, which uses the network for varying amounts of bandwidth, was not affected by the power failure.

A posting on broadband community forum Whirlpool’s Web site, www.whirlpool.net.au, says the cause was a power failure in a module at a cable station in the US.

The company could not release full details to the course of the problem at this stage.

Southern Cross Cable Network told ZDNet that it is looking at ways to implement more capacity to enable the network to sustain two breaks in the future.

"If two segments [go down], there is no way we can restore connection to the United States immediately, the only way to do that would be to have a third cable," the Southern Cross Asia Pacific marketing director Ross Pfeffer said.

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