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Re: Sicily to Egypt undersea cable disruption

  • From: Steven M. Bellovin
  • Date: Fri Feb 01 18:28:28 2008

On Fri, 1 Feb 2008 23:07:16 -0000
"Rod Beck" <Rod.Beck@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hi Steve, 
> 
> TransAtlantic cables average three repairs a year. That's the
> industry average. So given 7 high capacity cable systems, that's 21
> repairs a year. 
> 
> Now, not all damaged cables go out of service. In fact, most stay in
> service until the repair begins. 
> 
> But the public rarely hears about a TransAtlantic cable going dark.
> Yet it does happen quite regularly in the business. 
> 
> Why? Because there are seven very high capacity (multi-terabit)
> systems to route traffic across! There is no need to announce to the
> public that a cable been cut. 
> 
> That is not the case in the Midterranean or the Persian Gulf. 
> 
> You have only a few systems (relatively low capacity) serving a huge
> population. In fact, I suspect Flag is probably the sole provider for
> many of these countries. 
> 
> So yes, when the only guy in town falls down, it's going to be
> noticed. 
> 
I hope you're right.  As I noted, by profession I'm paranoid.  I've
even contemplated the uses of deliberate cable cuts; see
http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb/papers/reroute.pdf for some thoughts
from five years ago.

But I hope you're right.


		--Steve Bellovin, http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb