Tonga Volcano Highlights Global Undersea Cable Network Fragility

(From Network Computing) This week’s undersea volcano focused attention on the fragility of the oceanic cable network, which carries roughly 95 percent of intercontinental global data traffic.

Network Computing, Contributor

January 19, 2022

1 Min Read
gray billows of smoke during volcanic eruption

If your disaster preparedness plans had a check box for oceanic cable traffic disruption due to an undersea volcano, bravo. Bet the lottery this week. Most of the world was caught off guard by the surprisingly powerful nature of this weekend's Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption.

Fortunately, the impact on international internet traffic was minimal on a global scale. Locally, communications with Tonga are disrupted as regular phone lines are down, and the internet cable from Fiji to Tonga seems to have been damaged. To that point, the cable service that is the only connection between Tonga and the outside world is out. Authorities and operators did not switch it off or disconnect it. The implication is that the volcanic blast and its aftermath cut the fiber-optic cable connecting Tonga to the rest of the world.

Read the full story on Network Computing.

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