Quake damage to Japan cables appears small

There are no reports so far of impact on trans-Pacific data traffic

Undersea telecommunications cables in and out of Japan seem to have mostly survived the devastating earthquake that struck the country on Friday.

There are 20 trans-Pacific and intra-Asia cable systems that land in Japan, according to research firm Telegeography. As of early Saturday in Japan, there were some press reports of damaged cables within Asia, but the effects on communications appear to have been limited.

Mainland Chinese carrier China Unicom said two or three cables between Japan and China may have been damaged but traffic was being routed around the breaks, and Taiwan-based Chunghwa Telecom said the APCN2 cable was damaged but communication had not been disrupted, according to a report on the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch site.

APCN2 is a 19,000-kilometer (11,800-mile) cable that links China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, according to Telegeography. Its capacity is nearly 2T bps (bits per second.)

Japan historically has been the biggest hub for undersea cable systems in Asia, though there is an increasing number of lines going to other countries in the region, said Telegeography analyst Stephan Beckert.

"There's a complete cat's cradle of cables out there," Beckert said.

Earthquakes have damaged undersea cables in the past. Last year, a major quake and aftershocks in Taiwan damaged four cables in six places, knocking out service for parts of two days. In 2009, an earthquake in Taiwan and undersea landslides caused by a typhoon damaged cables to China, disrupting access to some websites. In both cases, carriers eventually were able to restore traffic by rerouting it. Service providers typically use capacity on more than one cable to prevent outages.

"There is, at this point, a good deal of resiliency in the international networks," Beckert said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Tags China UnicomtelecommunicationChunghwa Telecominternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?