How often have you said, “what did we do before the Internet?”
Well, tens of millions of people found out today when Internet services across Asia, the Middle East and North Africa went down and India’s bandwidth was cut in half as a result of problems with underwater transatlantic cables. Apparently the issue began on Tuesday when two major cables connecting the UK and US experienced problems. WebUser reports that one of the cables has been faulty for about three weeks, but it was a second link that caused the most damage. Because its an undersea problem, it’s not an easy fix.
Not only are many businesses in the area at a standstill, telecommunications down, television broadcasts gone to black and air traffic halted, but think about the millions of call centers operating out of India coming to a halt and the “billion a second” financial transactions out of Dubai stopping flat.
I expect this will cause PR problems for companies around the world who house much of their public services (customer and financial) in the region.
UPDATE: Quick thinking minimizes fall out. Indian telecom operators divert traffic over alternate routes. Internet is up, but will continue to be slow and affect IT-BPO firms for 10 to 15 days. Links to other stories here.