‘Repair of submarine cables may take 4 to 5 weeks’

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Authorities working to address issue of Internet ‘disturbance’‘

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 23: The concerned state authorities are currently working to address the issue of Internet and working to look for alternatives to avoid what happened recently when ‘interruptions’ happened in the two international marine cables heading from Muscat to Dubai and Iran – interruptions caused by a fishing trawler, explaining that the Internet during the interruption was not affected between the Gulf countries, but it did have effect on the countries of the world, reports Al-Qabas daily. Responsible sources explained the first outage that occurred in the international marine cable, was in the cable heading from Muscat to Dubai, the second going from Muscat to Iran, and the third next to one of the stations in Yemen.

The sources indicated that the repair of submarine cables may take approximately 4 to 5 weeks, indicating that the Communications and Information Technology Commission has transferred international circuits to parallel cables based on the requests of internet providers and companies in the country, explaining that Kuwait has 3 land cables and two marine cables. The sources stated the Internet service did not witness an interruption, but rather a weakness in the movement and by converting the circuits to auxiliary cables, about 85% of the Internet traffic was restored to those affected by the companies, and Internet providers in the country.

The sources added, “Within 12 to 24 hours at the least, all the capacity of the Internet via the cut cable will be transferred to the redundant cables, so that the Internet traffic returns as it was,” pointing out that there are requests submitted to add a new submarine cable, as well as a land cable, all of which serve the Internet traffic in the country and contribute signifi- cantly to facilitating and speeding the movement between Kuwait and the countries of the world.

Regarding the claims for financial compensation because of the interruption, the sources said, “The interruption in marine sectors always occurs, and it is natural and common.” The Communications and Information Technology Commission had announced that the international submarine cable “Falcon” of the “GCX” company had been cut outside Kuwaiti territorial waters, which led to the disruption and weakness of some international departments working on the cable and used by companies, providers and Internet service providers in the country. The authority stated on its Twitter account on the evening of the incident that it is following up with the “GCX” company on a regular basis to find out what measures are being taken by the company to repair the parts and the time required to complete these procedures.

Meanwhile, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) use index in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries for the Year 2021, said the percentage of Internet users in the GCC countries, which occupied a leading position at the regional and global levels, exceeded 98 percent, and that the percentage of mobile phone subscribers reached 137.66 percent of the total population during 2021, reports Al-Rai daily. The report issued by “Orient Planet Research”, the independent unit of the “Orient Planet” group, showed that the Gulf countries were able to achieve a major leap in the use of information and communication technologies during the past two decades that made a difference in the services provided to users through the development of digital infrastructure. The UAE topped the ICT use index for the Gulf countries for the year 2021, which measures the rate of Internet penetration and communication services, achieving 5.43 points, while Kuwait came second with 3.74 points, followed by Saudi Arabia third with 3.64 points, Qatar fourth with 3.62 points, Oman was fifth with 3.49 points and Bahrain sixth with 3.38 points.

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