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Australia: Submarine cable fault slows down internet connections

A submarine fibre-optic cable fault has slowed down the Internet connections in Australia. The fault happened between Perth and Singapore.

iiNet, which is the second largest DSL internet service provider in Australia, said that the fault affected the services of several companies. It added that the issue started on the SEA-ME-WE 3 cable on Sunday.

"Our link between Perth and Singapore is currently not passing traffic," an iiNet spokesman said. "This traffic is taking an alternate path via Sydney to Hong Kong.

iiNet added that the fault could slow down the Internet speed and will affect the download and upload speeds, latency and packet-loss to destinations in Asia.

"This may result in web pages taking longer to load, as well as impact to time-sensitive activities such as online gaming to servers in Asia."

Low latency affects real-time communications and response times including payment and sale transactions, programs like Skype and fast-reaction applications like video games.

The SEA-ME-WE 3 has a maximum capacity of 480 gigabits per second and the users who provide Internet services using this point received a notification about the fault on Sunday.

The 39,000-kilometre cable had witnessed the fault earlier too like in January 2013. At that time, the fault took approximately four months to repair.

In 2005, the cable suffered from a fault and at that time it affected approximately 10 million internet users and almost all communications going in and out of Pakistan. It is still not known what caused the latest fault.