Potential impacts of damage or cuts to the Red Sea fiber optic line.


The growth of Middle Eastern fibre optic cable networks has given Western signals intelligence agencies unprecedented access to the region’s data and communications traffic. The Houthi’s are threatening to cut this cable. 

“The importance of cables is still largely unknown by the average person. They think smartphones are wireless and it goes through the air but they don’t realise it is through cables,” said Alan Mauldin, research director at telecommunications research firm TeleGeography in Washington.

Immediate Impacts of cable is cut:

Internet disruptions: The primary consequence would be internet outages in countries and regions relying on the cable for data transmission. This could affect:

 Limited access to online services, communication, information, and entertainment.

Disruption to operations, online transactions, communication, and productivity.

Hindered financial transactions and potential losses due to delays.

Impaired communication, data exchange, and service delivery.

 Businesses dependent on internet connectivity could face economic losses due to downtime and disruption.

News, information, and communication between regions could be slowed down or restricted.

Disruptions could create vulnerabilities and opportunities for cyberattacks. 
Depending on the cause and affected regions, it could escalate tensions between countries.

It affects: Countries directly relying on the cable: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, and others. Individuals within those countries: Internet users, businesses, institutions, and the general public. Companies and organizations with operations in the region: Financial institutions, tech companies, logistics providers, etc. Individuals and entities communicating or conducting business across the affected region.

    The severity of the impact would depend on the extent of damage, redundancy in the network, and the speed of repairs.

    Alternative routes exist, but they might have limited capacity or incur higher costs. Repairing the cable can be a complex and expensive process. The incident could highlight the need for diversification and redundancy in internet infrastructure.

      Image: Source: Lifewire.com, The Atlantic, BBC, Telegeography

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