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

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags China UnicomtelecommunicationinternetChunghwa Telecom

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?