Perth to Singapore cable woes continue with new break

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Perth to Singapore cable woes continue with new break
ASEAN Explorer. Source: Uwe Aranas/CC

Restoration time pushed back again.

A new fault has been discovered in the Perth to Singapore leg of the South East Asia - Middle East - Western Europe (Sea-Me-We 3) cable, dashing hopes that the troubled fibre will be operational again this week.

The cable has suffered multiple cuts since September, but was scheduled to be mended this week as the ASEAN Explorer repair ship started restoration work.

However, yesterday general manager of engineering for Vocus, Rick Carter, revealed another fault had been discovered on the Sea-Me-We 3 cable at Segment 3.3.

This is the same segment that was broken on September 25 this year, causing severe service degradation for Apple users on Telstra's network.

Carter noted that the newly discovered fault meant there were currently two breaks on the Sea-Me-We 3 cable, at segments 3.1 and 3.3.

iiNet confirmed the fault, warning customers Australia-wide of slower than normal access to international websites.

The internet provider said in a fault notice the estimated time of restoration for the cable was now November 11.

Repairs of undersea fibre-optic links can be a lengthy process, even if the fault area is located quickly.

Restoration work at sea is undertaken by specialist ships such as the ASEAN Explorer, which are at the mercy of the weather and permits from countries through which the broken cable runs.

In March 2013, ASEAN Explorer was delayed as it attempted to repair a break on the Sea-Me-We 3 in Indonesian waters, after the government withheld transportation permits for the ship.

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