A Tremor in High Speed Service

Earthquakes near Taiwan in late December created "massive telecommunications disruption" throughout Asia. Experts say that this is a bad sign:

Analysts and industry insiders said the service disruption - caused by the rupture of two undersea data transmission cables in Tuesday's earthquake in Taiwan - is a sign of the vulnerability the world's telecommunications network, which was frenetically built out at the height of the Internet boom but has since attracted little investment.

Political and telecom leaders are just starting to address the problem:

That Internet traffic out of Southeast Asia was not cut off entirely was testimony to the progress made in recent years in adding capacity along new routes, executives said. But the fact remained, they said, that the preponderance of information sought by global Internet users remains in the United States and that Asia is linked to that information by only a handful of relatively fragile cables that are subject to the uncertainties of the ocean floor.

In the past ten years, telecom leaders in the U.S. and Asia have built approximately 10 new cables in the Pacific Ocean to connect the two continents. But the fact remains: the same investment is not being made within our own country to connect the millions of people without access to high speed telecommunications.

It shouldn't take an earthquake to figure out that everyone needs reliable access to high speed Internet.

AP: Quake Shows Telecom Network Fragility

TopTechNews.com: Internet Appears Not So Resilient

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