Taiwan Quake Impacts Internet Services in Asia

Posted on December 27, 2006

Recent earthquakes near Taiwan -- the strongest a 7.1 -- have damaged undersea cables and cut Internet and phone service. Many in Asia are unable to access the Internet, make international calls, perform online banking transactions or find out stock market prices according to a Bloomberg news story.

Internet and telephone services across Asia were disrupted, hampering financial transactions, after earthquakes near Taiwan damaged undersea cables.

"The repairs could take two to three weeks," said Leng Tai-feng, president of Chunghwa Telecom Co.'s international business. The Taipei-based company, Taiwan's largest phone operator, said two of its undersea cables were cut.

A series of earthquakes, including a magnitude 7.1 tremor, struck Taiwan last night and today, killing at least two people and cutting power supplies. HSBC Holdings Plc said its online banking services were down, while Chunghwa said almost no calls could be made to Southeast Asia, causing disruption to companies including First State Investments in Singapore.

Some bloggers will likely be affected by this as well. There will be Asian bloggers that have difficulties blogging. There will also be a reduction in web traffic to blogs and the Internet in general. Repair time is estimated at two to three weeks according to Bloomberg. An Channel News Asia article on says there is widespread disruption in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong and some minor distruptions in Australia. The connections that were not damaged from the earthquake may suffer from congestion as services try to reroute traffic to the working undersea cables.

Updates: More coverage of the quake spawned Asian web outage from Joi Ito, Boing Boing, Wikinews and Techmeme.

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