SYDNEY (ZDNet Australia)--The Southern Cross undersea cable between Sydney and the US was severed yesterday, leaving Internet traffic grinding to a halt.
The main undersea cable was cut 38km off the coast of Newcastle at about 8am yesterday, according to MD of Internet Service Provider TSN Internet, Michael Saunders. The disaster occurred at a time when a back-up cable was undergoing scheduled maintenance--dealing service providers who use the cable a double blow.
"For some hours yesterday service was degraded," Excite@Home director of technical operations Paul Cameron, told ZDNet.
Although the cause of the damage is as yet unknown, Cameron said the cable could have been damaged by one of the freighters moored outside of Syndey Harbour after the Harbour was closed due to bad weather conditions.
Full service was apparantly restored at about midnight last night, with Internet traffic being re-routed to backup links, according to Cameron.
However, ”services are really slow,” TSN Internet’s Saunders told ZDNet this morning. “Internet traffic is grinding to a halt.”
Saunders claims he was told that it would take time to repair the severed undersea pipe, which would have to be lifted from the sea bed at a time when Sydney’s coast is suffering a bout of bad weather. In the meantime engineers are trying to accelerate the routine maintenance on the second cable, according to Saunders.
The Southern Cross cable went fully live in April this year.