Internet repairs in Asia delayed again

Newly discovered earthquake damage to undersea cables and bad weather could delay the complete restoration of Asian Internet services until next month, telecom officials, quoted in an AFP report, said.

The AFP report quoted a spokesman for Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom as saying that engineers had found new damage to cables servicing China, putting back repairs by about a week.

'As we are short of direct transportation between Taiwan and the mainland, it will take four or five days to transport the needed cables from the mainland via a third place,' the official told AFP.

The official said he expected repair work on the cables, damaged by a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake on December 26, to be finished by the end of January.

Hong Kong officials also warned that poor weather could delay repairs well into next month, the AFP report said.

'Due to inclement weather conditions and the extensive nature of the damages caused by the earthquakes, the latest status is that the first stage of the repairing work of the damaged submarine cable systems is expected to be completed within the second half of this month,' the Office of Telecommunications Authority said in a statement.

It said the rest of the repairs would be completed by the middle of February, if weather permits, the AFP report said.

The Boxing Day earthquake snapped several international telecom cables, sparking widespread communications disruption in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and elsewhere, the AFP report further said.