Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe


Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe

Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) is a 28,000 kilometer long submarine communications cable containing optical fiber that connects the United Kingdom, Japan, and many places in between. The cable is operated by India's Flag Telecom, a fully-owned subsidiary of Reliance Communications. The system runs from the eastern coast of North America to Japan. [ [http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/4.12/ffglass.html Wired 4.12: Mother Earth Mother Board ] ] Its Europe-Asia segment is the fourth longest [http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-images/Technology/Pix/pictures/2008/02/01/SeaCableHi.jpg] cable in the world.

The Europe-Asia segment was laid in the mid-1990s and was the subject of an extensive article in Wired Magazine in December, 1996 by Neal Stephenson. The cable was laid by NYNEX. [ [http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/4.12/ffglass.html "Mother Earth, Mother Board: The Epic Story of the Wiring of the Planet."] ]

egments and landing points

Landing points are:

egment FLAG Atlantic 1 (FA-1)

*Northport, Suffolk County, New York, USA
*Island Park, Nassau County, New York, USA
*Skewjack (near Sennen, Cornwall), England, UK
*Plérin, Côtes-d'Armor, Brittany, France

egment FLAG Alcatel-Lucent Optical Network (FALCON)

*Suez, As Suways Governorate, Egypt
*Port Sudan, Sudan
*Jeddah, Makkah Province, Saudi Arabia
*Al Hudaydah, Yemen
*Al Ghaydah, Yemen
*Al Seeb, Oman
*Khasab, Oman
*Dubai, United Arab Emirates
*Sumaisma, Qatar
*Manama, Bahrain
*Al Khubar, Saudi Arabia
*Kuwait City, Kuwait
*Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
*Thiruvananthapuram, India
*Hulumalé, Maldives
*Malé, Maldives
*Colombo, Sri Lanka

egment FLAG Europe Asia (FEA)

*Porthcurno, Cornwall, England, UK
*Estepona, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain
*Palermo, Province of Palermo, Sicily, Italy
*Aqaba, Aqaba Governorate, Jordan
*Alexandria, Al Iskandariyah Governorate, Egypt
*Suez, As Suways Governorate, Egypt
*Jeddah, Makkah Province, Saudi Arabia
*Fujairah, United Arab Emirates
*Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
*Penang, Malaysia, meeting SAFE and SEA-ME-WE 3
*Satun, Satun Province, Thailand
*Songkhla, Songkhla province, Thailand
*Silvermine Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
*Nanhui, Shanghai, China
*Keoje, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
*Ninomiya, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
*Miura, Kanagawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

egment FLAG North Asia Loop (FNAL)/Tiger

*Tong Fuk, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
*Toucheng, Yilan County, Taiwan
*Pusan, South Korea
*Wada, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan

West of Mumbai, FLAG has a capacity of 80 Gbit/s.

The segment between Hong Kong and Pusan was broken by the 2006 Hengchun earthquake.

January and February 2008 service disruptions

On January 30, 2008 internet services were widely disrupted in the Middle East and in the Indian subcontinent following damage to the SEA-ME-WE 4 and FLAG cables in the Mediterranean Sea. [ [http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/01/31/dubai.outage/index.html Internet failure hits two continents - CNN.com ] ] BBC News Online reported 70% disruption in Egypt and 60% disruption in Indiacite news | title=Severed cables disrupt Internet | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7218008.stm | work=BBC News Online | publisher=BBC | date=2008-01-31 | accessdate=2008-01-31] Problems were reported in Bahrain, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. [cite news | title=Cable Break Causes Wide Internet Outage | url=http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/technology/AP-Internet-Outages.html | date=February 1, 2008 | author=The Associated Press via nytimes.com | accessdate=2008-02-01] The respective contributions of the two cable systems to this blackout is unclear. Network outage graphs suggest that the two breaks occurred at 0430 and 0800 UTC.cite web|url=http://www.renesys.com/blog/2008/01/mediterranean_cable_break_1.shtml#more|title=Mediterranean Cable Break|accessdate=2008-01-31|last=Zmijewski|first=Earl|date=2008-01-30|work=Renesys Blog|publisher=Renesys]

The cause of the damage has not been declared by either cable operator, but a number of news sources speculate that the damage was caused by a ship's anchor near Alexandria.Cite news
title=Cable damage hits Internet connectivity|work=The Times of India|accessdate=2008-01-31
date=2008-01-31
url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cable_damage_hits_Internet_connectivity/articleshow/2745082.cms
] According to the AFP, the Kuwaiti government attributes the breaks to "weather conditions and maritime traffic."Cite news|title=Indian outsourcing sector hit by Internet disruption|work=AFP|accessdate=2008-01-31|date=2008-01-31|url=http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gadarOY4frbM-XSyXS0_wMfxpHig] "The New York Times" reported that the damage occurred to the two systems separately near Alexandria and near Marseilles.Cite news|issn=0362-4331|last=Timmons|first=Heather
title=2 Communication Cables in the Mediterranean Are Cut|work=The New York Times|accessdate=2008-01-31|date=2008-01-31|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/31/business/worldbusiness/31cable.html?ref=business
] Egypt knew of "no passing ships" near Alexandria which has restricted waters.cite news|author=Brauer, David|title=High-tech mystery: Are terrorists behind recent Internet disruptions?|url=http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2008/02/04/771/high-tech_mystery_are_terrorists_behind_recent_internet_disruptions|work=MinnPost.com|publisher=MinnPost|date=February 4, 2008|accessdate=2008-02-04]

One day later, on February 1, 2008, the FALCON cable was also reported cut 56 km off Dubai. [ [http://www.flagtelecom.com/index.cfm?channel=4328&NewsID=27492 Flag Telecom ] ] [ [http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/02/01/internet.outage/index.html Third undersea Internet cable cut in Mideast - CNN.com ] ]

References

External links

* [http://www.flagtelecom.com FLAG website]
* [http://www.mybroadband.co.za/nephp/?m=show&id=3304 KDN pips EASSY to the post in $115M deal with FLAG]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7228315.stm Work begins to repair severed net]


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