On December 26, the earthquake in Southeast Asia caused serious damage to the submarine cables that serve as the basis for telecommunications between China and the rest of the world. As a consequence, the general damage that has been felt in the communication systems has led to the partial or total loss of services in Chinese territory.
Despite the large Internet and telecommunications operators, such as China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, assuring that 70 percent of the services would be restored in a short period of time, within the possible conditions, the truth is that access to international pages is too slow and phone calls are almost impossible to make.
The return to work, after the first three days of the year, which are traditionally celebrated by the Chinese, brought with it another series of problems and now many users complain of having lost contact with customers and business sources abroad.
According to the Associated Press, the disconnection led to the disappearance of 10,000 «.com» domains, registered by Chinese citizens, without the «possibility of updating the data or re-registering», says the International Information Center of the Chinese Internet.
Users of these domains should have paid through the network to be able to enjoy the service for another year, but, given the failure caused in the systems, it was impossible to carry out such procedures, explained the Xinhua agency.
In very few cases, domain providers have agreed with their customers to extend the contracts, even if the annual bill has not been paid, although not all entities are willing to act in the same way, says the local press.
Despite the difficulties, it is expected that the telecommunications systems will return to normal on the 15th of January and the need to create submarine connections alternative to the existing one is already being discussed.
The development of a new submarine cable is one of the suggestions, which, if approved, could allow data traffic 60 times higher than what was currently processed. Such a link would have a more northern location than the current one, approximately at the same latitude as South Korea, that is, a point less prone to damage caused by earthquakes.
2006-12-27 – Earthquake leaves part of Asia without communications