France Telecom has mobilized maintenance teams to restore telephone links with Algeria following a failure on the Sea-Me-We 2 submarine cable. Service to the system, owned by a consortium of 60 operators, was interrupted due to an electronics problem on the night of November 3.
The system, which entered service in 1994, links Marseille to Singapore and serves North Africa, Egypt, India, and Southeast Asia. All traffic in the Marseille-Algiers segment was interrupted by the failure. Approximately 20% of the traffic was rerouted within two days by using another limited-capacity cable. Estimates are that half of the traffic was restored by last Saturday, November 10. Restoration of traffic involves round-the-clock operations by teams at France Telecom, Algeria Telecom, and Morocco Telecom.
The Sea-Me-We 2 consortium has sent the cable ship Raymond Croze to the site of the incident and repairs, which should take a week to perform, are underway. The problem is in international waters, southwest of Sardinia, on equipment at a depth of 2,700 meters.