New quake thwarts undersea cable repairs

(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2007-01-19 16:29

Another earthquake off Taiwan has further hindered the repair work of the damaged undersea communication cables, extending the schedule by at least 15 days.

Workers found more damage to the thin cable lines after an earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale shook the sea around the island at 11:13am on Wednesday, Shanghai Securities News said today.

An official with Hong Kong's Office of Telecommunications estimated that the first phase of repairs would be finished by end of this month.

"The remainder should be completed by mid-February, depending on the weather," the official said.

Transport of the new cables will take at least four to five days as the cables have to be transferred through a third port before they reach Taiwan, which also prolongs the schedule, according to a communication operator on the island.

China Telecom and China Netcom, two major communication operators on the mainland, didn't comment on the progress of the repair work, said the report.

An official with China Telecom told the newspaper yesterday that the company failed to fulfill its promise of the cables being mended by Wednesday.

However, "the mainland's international fixed-line telecommunication services have been re-established and 70 percent of Internet services have been restored through alternate routes," said an official with the Shanghai Telecom.

MSN China is negotiating with the mainland's communication operators concerning the increase of its Internet access, to better improve its Windows Live services.

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