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Typhoon knocks out Asia telecom cable

Cut in Asia-Pacific Cable Network 2 undersea cable cripples connection speeds in Asia-Pacific region Wednesday, hitting Singapore and the Philippines.

A cut in the Asia-Pacific Cable Network 2 undersea submarine cable crippled connection speeds for users in the Asia-Pacific region on Wednesday, particularly in Singapore and the Philippines.

Users were sending updates to local forums and Twitter, complaining of slow connection speeds to sites hosted outside of the region.

According to a notice sent by Malaysian telephone company TM Net, the cable fault was traced to segment 7 of the Asia-Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2), which stretches between Shantou, China, and Tanshui, Taiwan. TM Net traced the outage to Typhoon Morakot, which hit the region over the weekend.

Additionally, segment 1 of the APCN2 is also currently under repair. Repairs on segment 7 are expected to commence after work on segment 1 is completed.

TM Net said the repairs are expected to be completed by late evening August 13.

Singapore operator SingTel confirmed the cable fault in an e-mail to ZDNet Asia, saying the APCN2's consortium members have started restoration works and are diverting Internet traffic to other cable systems. It said the situation is expected to return to "acceptable levels" within the next 24 hours.

A status update posted on showed SingTel's Singapore gateway registered a score of only 34 points, compared to the global average "health" of network connections, which was 86 points as at 3pm Singapore time on Wednesday.

The site first started registering slower response times and packet loss in Singapore at 8 p.m. local time Tuesday evening.

Cable & Wireless sent ZDNet Asia a status update noting multiple cable breaks have been also detected along the EAC (East Asia Crossing) and SMW 3 (South-East-Asia, Middle-East, Western-Europe) subsea cable networks, in addition to the APCN2.

These breaks have been concentrated specifically near Taiwan, with network traffic "adversely affected in and out of the region as a result," said the operator.

Back in 2006, the APCN2 was taken out by a powerful earthquake in Taiwan. Internet access was reportedly badly disrupted and halted in some parts of Asia after the quake.

Victoria Ho of ZDNet Asia reported from Singapore.