Four HGC Global Communications Cables Damaged in Red Sea Incident

Four HGC Global Communications Cables Damaged in Red Sea Incident

HGC Global Communications, a telecommunications company based in Hong Kong, recently reported that four of its undersea telecommunications cables located at the bottom of the Red Sea have been cut. This incident has impacted approximately a quarter of the total traffic that these cables handle.

In response to this significant disruption, the company is currently in the process of devising strategies to reroute traffic worldwide. The aim is to distribute this traffic across the remaining 11 active cables in the Red Sea. This measure is seen as a way to lessen the overall impact of the damage and maintain as much connectivity as possible.

At this point, it is still uncertain how Israeli Internet providers might be affected by this situation, according to a report by the Times of Israel.

The Bab el-Mandeb Strait, a narrow waterway that separates the Red Sea from the Indian Ocean’s Gulf of Aden, is a critical point not just for maritime trade between Asian and European countries, but also for internet connectivity across Europe, Asia, and Africa. Approximately two dozen Internet cables are laid along the seafloor of this strait. One of these cables, owned by Seacom, failed on February 24, Saturday. In a statement, Seacom confirmed that a section of its East African cable system, which extends through the Red Sea, went down on the aforementioned date. This failure has affected the flow of internet traffic between Africa and Europe.

Several sources at the end of February reported that cables belonging to TGN, AAE-1, and EIG were also affected by this incident.

It is worth noting that each year, there are around 200 instances of unintentional damages to undersea internet cables globally. These damages are usually caused by natural disasters or shipping activities. However, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait happens to be controlled by Houthi rebels based in Yemen. This has raised concerns about the possibility of these rebels deliberately causing damage to the cables in the Strait.

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