TRAI, the telecom regulatory body has asked details from Reliance Telecom about its plans for the restoration of services after the break in three major undersea cables on 9 December.
In a letter to the TRAI on December 24, Reliance Communication has stated that in order to improve availability of bandwidth to customers in India, it also requested Bharti to grant immediate access to its Chennai cable landing station. It has however complained that fellow telecom companies especially Bharti were not cooperating.
TRAI has also asked Bharti for a clarification on the issue.
Breaks in three major submarine cable systems, the Sea Me We 4, Sea Me We3, and FLAG, which link Europe, the Middle East and Asia, had disrupted internet and international telephone services in parts of the Middle East and South Asia. The Sea Me We cables are owned by France Telecom consortium and FLAG cable by Reliance Telecommunication.
Traffic from Europe to Asia, including India, had been interrupted to some extent.
While this had considerably slowed down internet traffic in India, it has put much of the voice traffic out of services. India and the Middle East seemed to be most affected by the current cable cut.
Internet capacity to Egypt, India and Saudi Arabia was reduced by more than 50 per cent, according to France TÚlÚcom, the French operator, which is responsible for maintenance of the two damaged Sea Me We cables in the Mediterranean. Sudan and the Maldives Islands lost all internet connections.
Tata Communications has managed to maintain Internet connectivity to its customers in India, Middle East, and South East Asia and restored normal connectivity to its customers in these regions on 20 December 2008, within a day of the triple cable cuts of December 19, 2008.
Raymond Croze, a France TÚlÚcom maintenance ship with a crew of 64 on board, had reached the zone of the damage between Sicily and Tunisia on Sunday. Hector the robot was scouring the seabed for the point at which the cables had been broken. ''They are buried in a trench dug out of the bottom of the sea, and they are covered in mud, so it's not easy,'' it said.
The damaged section will be lifted on to the ship and repaired. This operation involves soldering thousands of tiny, individual fibres through a microscope and then checking that each one of them works.
Reliance Globalcom, the company that owns the cables which said that it had contracted a private repair ship to locate and repair the damage. It said that it hoped to have the cable working by the end of this week.
Reliance Globalcom said that Italian cable ship, Teliri, was in the area to seek and repair the damaged cable using a remotely operated submarine.
The company's website stated that, the IP traffic has been automatically diverted via the Pacific region and customers continue to use the services. However, they may face some congestion and increased latency for European sites. The cable repair is expected to be completed during this week, subject to weather and cable and seabed conditions.
The voice services of Reliance Communications to all destinations are working smoothly without any loss of connectivity. Reliance Globalcom is working closely with its customers to ensure normalcy of services.