Undersea fiber cut after Taiwan earthquake - PCCW / Singtel / KT etc connectivity disrupted


Singapore Telecom, PCCW Say Internet Disrupted by Taiwan Quakes

By Andrea Tan

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. Southeast
Asia's largest telephone company, and Hong Kong's PCCW Ltd. said
Internet service in Asia slowed down after three earthquakes hit
southern Taiwan yesterday.

``The Taiwan earthquake has affected several submarine cable systems
in Asia, causing cable cuts near Taiwan late last night,'' Singapore
Telecom spokesman Chia Boon Chong said by telephone today. ``Some
customers might experience a slowdown in data or Internet access.
Traffic diversion and restoration works are currently in progress.''

Taiwan was jolted by three earthquakes yesterday, killing two people
and injuring 42 others, the island's National Fire Agency said. The
tremors damaged undersea cables, causing a disruption to Internet
traffic and some telephone calls in the region for customers including
Singapore Telecom, PCCW, Chunghwa Telecom Co., Taiwan's biggest
telephone operator, and KDDI Corp., Japan's second-largest telephone

PCCW, Hong Kong's largest phone company, said data capacity on its
networks was reduced to 50 percent due to the quake.

``Data service to Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and the U.S. were
affected,'' said Hans Leung, a spokesman in Hong Kong.

Two of Chunghwa Telecom's cables were damaged by the earthquake,
resulting in ``near zero'' capacity for voice calls to Southeast Asia,
apart from Vietnam, said Leng Tai-feng, the company's vice president
of international business.

``The repairs could take two to three weeks,'' Leng said. ``We're
doing our best to coordinate with other operators in the region to
resolve the problem.''

Southern Taiwan

The first earthquake, which was magnitude 6.7, occurred at 8:26 p.m.
local time yesterday off Taiwan's south coast, the island's Central
Weather Bureau said on its Web site. The second, magnitude 6.4,
happened at 8:34 p.m. and the third, magnitude 5.2, occurred at 8:40
p.m. All three were centered in the same area, the bureau said.

On Dec. 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra unleashed
waves that destroyed coastal villages on the Indian Ocean from
Indonesia to Sri Lanka, killing more than 220,000 people. Some of the
areas have yet to recover.

KDDI said its fiber-optic undersea cable in Taiwan was damaged,
affecting fixed-line services to Southeast Asia. The company is
re-routing phone calls to go through the U.S. and Europe and may take
several weeks to two months to repair cables that are damaged, KDDI's
Tokyo-based spokesman Haruhiko Maede said.

KT Corp., South Korea's largest provider of fixed-line phone and
Internet access service, said the outages affected overseas
connections of the foreign ministry and Reuters, which use leased
lines, said Kim Cheol Kee, a spokesman for Seongnam-based KT.

KT is in discussions with foreign phone companies to redirect traffic
elsewhere, Kim says.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Tan in Singapore at
Last Updated: December 26, 2006 22:57 EST