Telephone operators on the Chinese mainland have partially
restored telecommunications disrupted by the severing of undersea
cables off the Taiwan coast.
An earthquake on Tuesday night cut several submerged cables near
the southern coast off Taiwan. This shut down or slowed the Chinese
mainland's access to overseas websites and international calls.
China Telecom Corp said it had "basically" restored all the
international services provided to its big corporate customers by
10 PM yesterday. Nearly 15 percent of Internet-related circuits
affected have been restored.
China Netcom said two boats had started repairing the damaged
lines and three others were on their way to assist. The firm
expects international telecommunications to be restored "within
A spokesman with the Ministry of Information Industry said the
government and telephone operators have initiated emergency plans
which helped ease the disruptions.
A spokeswoman with China Telecom said most of the
international-related Internet traffic was being "re-routed" via
landline cables connecting China and Europe. Satellite transmission
was also being used but it lacked the capacity of fiber-optics.
In recent years China has laid several fiber-optic cables which
have advantages in capacity and efficiency compared to European
cables which were laid several yeas ago, the China Telecom
spokeswoman said. That helped the Chinese mainland cushion the
present disruptions, she explained.
Hong Kong had been hit harder as it relies on the traditional
China Telecom said it had provided assistance such as restoring
circuits and re-directing phone calls to operators in Hong Kong,
Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
(China Daily December 29, 2006)