Thu, 23 Nov 2000

Cable damage only trivial: Indosat

JAKARTA (JP): State-owned telecommunication company PT Indosat stated that the damage to the world's longest undersea cable network had only slightly affected the telecommunication service in the country.

Company spokesman Radjamin Nasution said on Wednesday that the telecommunication service had been disrupted for about an hour after the 39,000 kilometer cable network, called SEA-ME-WE 3 (South East Asia, Middle East to Western Europe), broke at 10:24 a.m. on Tuesday.

He said Indosat quickly switched its service to another cable network called SEA-ME-WE 2 which also links the three regions, as well the APCN (Asia Pacific Cable Network).

"In one hour, all services were switched to the other cables which still work properly," Nasution was quoted by Detikcom as saying.

He added the company had also used satellite transmission to continue its service.

He denied the foreign press reports that the incident had caused a significant impact on Indosat's service, saying the impact was "less than 20 percent."

It was not clear what caused Monday's break in a part of the cable lying 60 km off the coast of Singapore in Indonesian waters.

In Singapore, Deutsche Presse Agentur said local telecom operators Singapore Telecom, StarHub and M1, and Internet service provider Pacific Internet said the damaged cable had not disrupted any of their services.

"Our customers are not affected because SingTel uses a diversity of cables," said Ivan Tan, director of corporate communications.

He said phone and Internet traffic had been diverted to another cable, the APCN, which links Singapore to Australia.

It was "still too early to say" how long it will take to repair the damage, Tan said, adding that approval was needed from the Indonesian authorities.

The damaged cable, which only became operational late last year, severely disrupted communication in Australia. (jsk)