Internet links normalized in Hong Kong 50 days after quake
dpa German Press Agency
Published: Wednesday February 14, 2007

Hong Kong- Internet connections were restored to normal in Hong Kong Wednesday, 50 days after an undersea earthquake off Taiwan severely damaged cables to the former British colony. Six out of seven submarine cables coming in and out of Hong Kong were snapped by the December 26 earthquake, causing severe disruption to e-mail and internet connections.

Services were gradually improved but it took until Wednesday for Hong Kong's Telecommunications Authority to announce that the repairs to the cables were complete.

Singapore, Thailand and other regional cities and countries were also badly affected by the quake but Hong Kong's reliance on the undersea cables made the impact on the city of 6.8 million worse.

The disruption caused to business and private users sparked calls for Hong Kong service providers to have a better back-up system in the event of another catastrophic breakdown.

A Telecommunications Authority spokesman said Wednesday: "We are pleased to announce the repair of these cable systems is completed and all our external telecommunications services, including internet access, have been fully restored.

"Our internet service providers have recovered their external connection capacity back to the normal operational levels before the earthquake."

The repairs were at one stage expected to take until the end of February to complete but appear to have been finished ahead of schedule.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency