The 971 Report

UAE to face Internet disruptions after Etisalat cable cut

Residents in the UAE may face slower Internet following an undersea cable cut in the Mediterranean, UAE telecom Etisalat warned on Wednesday.

The disruption is due to a break in the subsea fibre optic system in the Mediterranean sea near Alexandria, Gulf News reported.

In a statement, Etisalat said: “The company quickly initiated its contingency plan to reroute traffic to minimise the customer impact and is working closely with the parties concerned to ensure the earliest possible restoration of the cables.”

Etisalat warned users of the drop in Internet speeds on their twitter page.


While the cause has not been confirmed, it is likely linked to Internet disruptions faced across the Middle East this week.

Late on Wednesday, Egypt's coastguard caught three divers cutting through an undersea Internet cable, the army said, suggesting criminal involvement in the incident.

A patrol stopped a fishing boat near the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria and arrested three divers, the army spokesman said on his official Facebook page.

He did not give details of the divers' alleged motive in severing the cable that belonged to Egypt Telecom, the country's monopoly landline provider.

"The armed forces foiled an attempt and arrested three divers while they were cutting a submarine cable," he said.

It was not clear whether the incident was related to disruptions off Egypt reported by cable operator SEACOM, which said last week that several lines connecting Europe with Africa, the Middle East and Asia were hit, slowing down internet services.

*With input from Reuters

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