A boat just killed Jersey’s internet
A ship in the English Channel has severed three main internet cables connecting the Channel Islands to mainland UK.
The ship, which is currently unidentified, managed to break a large portion of Jersey’s internet connection when dragging its anchor across the seabed.
As a result, internet speeds have fallen drastically on the island. JT, the main internet service provider for Jersey, has been forced to route the entirety of its communications traffic through a single connection to France.
“JT expects some disruption to services over the next week or so after three out of its four international submarine cables were cut yesterday evening,” the company said on its website. “It is thought that the three fibre-optic cables to the UK were cut by a ship dragging its anchor along the seabed, which also cut a number of other submarine cables in its path.”
A precise timescale for repairs isn’t yet known, although the company has said it “will keep customers up-to-date with what is an extremely challenging emergency engineering operation at sea.”
As the BBC notes, this isn’t the first time a ship has broken a telecom cable around the Channel Islands. In January this year, an internet cable was severed after a boat dropped anchor in stormy weather. At the time, JT’s chief operations and technology officer, Dave Newbold, said: “Incidents like this are thankfully very rare indeed.”
JT says the rogue ship’s insurance will pay for repairs. If the boat isn’t tracked down, then JT will cover the cost.
“It is exceptionally unlucky and unprecedented for three submarine cables to the UK to be cut in the same day,” said Daragh McDermott, director of corporate affairs for JT. “There are lots of cables running across the seabed, and we understand that it is not just JT who have been affected in this way, with other cables also having been cut.”