China's Ministry of Information Industry announced on December 28 that it had initiated an emergency plan with telecom operators, including China Telecom (CHA) and China Netcom (CN), to repair the seabed cable damaged by the earthquake in Taiwan earlier this week.
MII said that the earthquake, which hit off the coast of southern Taiwan on the night of December 26, has had a great effect on the Mainland's international communication links and has caused disruptions in voice and data transfers.
At present, China Telecom and China Unicom are pressing on repairing the damaged cables, but it is still not known when the things can resume to normal.
In Tiawan, Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) says soon after the outages on its China-US links and the southern section of the SMW3 cables, the company had the traffic fixed on the restoration routes APCN and APCN2 cables in accordance with its contingency plan. However, another two aftershocks broke the restoration routes (APCN and the southern section of APCN2) in the early morning of December 27, and currently only the northern sections of SMW3 and APCN2 are available to accommodate the traffic.
For countermeasures, Chunghwa Telecom says it made use of the unaffected cables and satellite circuit (ST-1) to increase the number of usable circuits. The completion rate has also been improved greatly with routing assistance from foreign carriers. Until the afternoon on December 28, the completion rate to USA was upgraded to 76%, Mainland China 57%, Canada 64%, Japan 73%, Hong Kong 45%, Singapore 57%, Europe 50%, and southeastern Asia also raised to 30%.
Chunghwa Telecom capacity available in the northern section of APCN2 cable was utilized to transit the IPLC traffic to Hong Kong and Singapore via Mainland China. An interim lease of private cable was also adopted for continuing corporate IPLC service. So far, only limited IPLCs are left for repair. The capacity available in the northern section of APCN2 cable was also made use to increase the total international bandwidth.
Chunghwa Telecom says it has contacted cable ship companies for prompt repairs. Four cable ships will be dispatched to the outage areas and repair work will begin on January 1, 2007. The recovery is scheduled to be completed in around three weeks.