Fri, Aug 14, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Calls and Internet service 90% restored

REUTERS , TAIPEI

Up to 90 percent of all voice and Internet services from parts of East Asia that were disrupted after Typhoon Morakot damaged undersea cables were expected to resume by midnight last night, a Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) official said.

Many Web users in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines experienced slow Internet connections this week as undersea landslides damaged cables connecting them to Web sites hosted in the US.

Full repair work on the damaged cables will only be completed in about two months, and Chunghwa is working with other affected telecommunications companies in the region to use alternative routes to restore connectivity.

Chunghwa Telecom, the nation’s largest telecom company, shares the undersea cables with other operators in East Asia.

“We see that most Internet and voice connections should be back to near-normal levels by the end of Thursday,” said Leng Tai-feng (冷台芬), president of Chunghwa’s International Business Group.

“The typhoon didn’t destroy the cables all in one go, which would have led to a sudden outage of services. It slowly destroyed some of the cables, which is why it took a few days before some users were affected,” Leng said.

The cost of repairing the cables will be shared among various telecom firms, and Chunghwa Telecom’s share of the costs should not exceed NT$3 million (US$91,240), Leng said.

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