Ah the perils of depending on a few lines of communication. For the Middle East, international bandwidth and the rather long acronym SeaMeWe are almost synonymous. When SeaMeWe-4 goes down, lots of countries see degraded service (or worse), and the Mediterranean is just a tough place for undersea cables overall – lots of activity and not much route diversity. This time there is a fault between Marseilles and Egypt, and a cable ship is of course en route to the scene – which by now we perhaps should start calling a patrol.
Fortunately, the over-dependence on SeaMeWe-4 seems set to end soon according to Telegeography. There will soon be several large new cables in service to help out: TE North from Telecom Egypt, MENA from Orascom, the consortium cable IMEWE, the Europe-India Gateway cable, and Reliance Flag’s Hawk cable all come online over the next 8 months alone.
That means increased reliability of course, but it probably also means lower bandwidth pricing to the region over time which everyone except perhaps SeaMeWe-4 itself will find refreshing.
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