By SubTel Forum

If you have ever experienced a prolonged phone or Internet outage, you are well-aware of the frustration and inconvenience that ensues. However, next time it occurs, don’t be so quick to pick up the phone and reprimand your phone or broadband company – because your fiber-optic cable may have fallen victim to an incident of accidental fiber cutting.  According to a TCMnet article, Internet customers in Georgia and Armenia became disconnected from the Internet last week when an elderly woman excavating for scrap metal hit the cable used to bring Internet access between the two countries. Mistaking it for some sort of underground treasure, the poor woman removed it from its permanent home in the ground. Oops.

Fiber cutting isn’t limited to just land. Three undersea fiber-optic cables got snipped in only one week back in 2008, knocking out Internet service to a large portion of the Middle East and South Asia. Panic and conspiracy theories ensued, of course; but luckily cable damage in the water world doesn’t occur too frequently.

“Undersea cable damage is hardly rare – indeed, more than 50 repair operations were mounted in the Atlantic alone last year, according to marine cable repair company Global Marine Systems,” ABC’s John Borland wrote at the time. “But last week's breaks came at one of the world's bottlenecks, where Net traffic for whole regions is funneled along a single route.”

Click here to read the article.

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