FLAG completes repairs on internet cables

Traffic has returned to normal on undersea internet cables in the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf that were cut last month, causing disruptions across the Middle East and parts of Asia, cable owner FLAG Telecom, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.

The Associated Press report said repair ships completed work over the weekend on both the FALCON cable in the Persian Gulf 35 miles north of Dubai and the FLAG Europe-Asia cable about 5 miles north off the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, UK-based FLAG said in a statement on its web site.

The Gulf cable carries web traffic between Oman and the United Arab Emirates, and the Mediterranean cable carries it from Africa to Sicily, the report said.

The Associated Press report quoted FLAG, which stands for Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe, as saying that an abandoned anchor caused the Persian Gulf cut, but it provided no details. The other cut is still being investigated, the company said.

It remained unclear Monday whether a third cable that parallels FLAG's Mediterranean cable, it's called South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 cable and is owned by a consortium of 16 companies, has been repaired.

The consortium could not be reached, and FLAG did not work on that cable.

The report said the cuts slowed businesses, hampered personal internet usage and caused a flurry of speculation, including mentions of sabotage.