Archive for May, 2013

Infrastructure: The importance of failure

Thursday, May 9th, 2013


South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) cable

Route of the South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) cable

On 6th June 2012 internet access to Bangladesh was severely disrupted when the South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) cable was damaged. The SEA-ME-WE 4 cable runs from France to Malaysia and is operated by a consortium of public and private organisations. The cable is Bangladesh’s only point of connection to the grid of fibre-optic cables that form the backbone of the global internet. Damage to the cable left the 5% of the Bangladesh population who are estimated to have internet access facing severe difficulty in accessing online services. News reports indicate that in addition to affecting individual customers’ email and browsing, work in Bangladesh’s garment industry – which relies on connectivity to communicate with clients – was disrupted by the outage.