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Australia-to-Asia traffic slows as typhoons cut submarine cables

I've been to Bali, via California

Typhoons have broken four submarine cables in the crowded Asian sea-lanes, with a knock-on impact for Australian ISPs iiNet and Internode.

The four damaged cables are ASE (Asia Submarine-Cable Express), TGA-Intra Asia (TGA-IA), Asia-American Gateway (AAG) and SEA-ME-WE3 (SMW3).

SMW3 connects Perth to Singapore; ASE and TGA-IA are intra-Asia cables, while ASE connects various Asian landings to California.

According to Malaysia's The Star, the cables were damaged by two typhoons in late August: Hato, which left three dead in Macau after hitting Hong Kon; and Pakhar, which swept through the same region a few days later.

IiNet's outage notice says it's being impacted by the SMW3 break, and a second break “~54k off the coast of Hong Kong” which could be any one of the other three, since they all have a Hong Kong landing.

The cable owners expect repairs to take well into October, depending on the availability of repair vessels and how long it takes to locate the breaks.

The Star quotes Telekom Malaysia as saying the faults are affecting routes connecting Hong Kong to Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and the USA.

Internode and iiNet are rerouting Asian traffic through the United States, meaning latency will be boosted by trips across the Pacific Ocean. ®


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