Anchor slices 3 underwater cables

From Popular Mechanics

It’s easy to forget that the internet isn’t just nebulous thing you connect to with your computer. It’s also a physical system of wires that stretch every which way, some of which travel under the ocean. That’s a point of weakness as recently illustrated when three of these cables were cut by a poorly-dropped anchor. Not for the first time, and probably not for the last.

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Pacific Ocean (May 9, 2005) – The port anchor aboard the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) is released into the ocean during an anchor drop test. The nuclear-powered ship is currently underway conducting routine carrier operations in the Pacific Ocean. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Kathleen Gorby (RELEASED)

The affected cables run along the seabed in the English Channel and serve the Channel Islands. According to the BBC, the two companies that jointly own the cables have taken to fixing it, but the process could take up to three weeks.

It would take a whole lot of bad luck to drop anchor directly on top of a submarine cable on three separate occasions, so the more likely explanation is that the ship was dragging its anchor along the channel’s floor, scraping an off-limits area where multiple cables run. There is still a connection left, but it requires all data from the islands to be pushed through a single cable that routes everything through France, which is leaving folks on the affected islands dealing with serious slowdowns.

Check out the rest of the story From Popular Mechanics

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