Lebanon was plunged once again into an Internet blackout Wednesday evening due to a major malfunction of IMEWE, a submarine fiber-optic cable linking Lebanon to international Internet capacities, Telecommunications Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui told The Daily Star.
“This is a very serious failure affecting some 350 links on IMEWE. Lebanon utilizes just two links,” Sehnaoui said, dismissing the possibility of completing repairs over the next 24 hours.
Lebanon, the minister said, was among the few nations that rely entirely on a single submarine cable for Internet connectivity. “The lack of a redundant route makes the country completely vulnerable to such blackouts.”
Sehnaoui added that his ministry would seek an urgent solution by linking Lebanon to Cyprus’ submarine Internet cables – ALEXANDROS and CADMOS – via the already existing cable infrastructure. But the temporary solution is unlikely to restore normal Internet connection speed and capacity.
A pre-scheduled upgrade conducted on IMEWE had caused a three-hour blackout Monday evening. But the maintenance works and the blackout Wednesday “are not at all related,” the minister said.
The Telecoms Ministry and Internet provider Ogero traded blame Tuesday over responsibility for informing the public about the planned works.
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