A ship’s anchor has caused a mess in the English channel.
Our world feels very wireless these days, so it’s easy to forget that our internet access, and all the data speeding across the globe, is largely owed to undersea cables. These undersea cables are the main pipelines for the internet and cross almost every ocean, and trace many of our coasts. Residents of the Channel Islands have been reminded of that fact when all three of the cables connecting it to the UK were cut. It is suspected that a ship’s anchor dragging along the bottom is the culprit responsible.
A map of the undersea cables we use to provide internet to the world
Luckily, there are redundancies built into the system, so that even when a cable is severed, the connection remains. Having three cables severed is obviously very unlucky, but even so, the islands are not cut off entirely. Currently, one link remains; an undersea cable connecting the Channel Islands to France. JT, the largest telecoms provider in the region, has called the situation “exceptionally unlucky and unprecedented.” Internet users in the islands can expect poor service and disruptions for the next week, or more, as cables are repaired. “With all traffic now using this connection, customers may notice some impact on services.” said Daragh McDermott from JT. Another telecoms provider, Sure, has confirmed that its services too, are being affected. At the very least, all the memes, spam mails and vloggers visiting screens in the Channel Islands will have a continental flair for a while.