India is the point of transit for every submarine cable connecting Asia with Africa and Europe via Middle East. Altogether 19 submarine cables have landed in five different Indian locations: Mumbai (11 cables), Chennai (4 cables), Cochin (2 cables), Trivandrum (1 cable) and Tuticorine (1 cable). These sparsely located landing points are good enough to make India the home of a highly resilient international connectivity. Early this week Cyclone Vardah has, however, exposed India’s, notably of Bharti Airtel’s, fragility instead. Bharti Airtel has stakes in five submarine cable networks: i2i, SEA-ME-WE 4, EIG, I-ME-WE and AAG.
In September 2012, for the first time we explained to ESCAP the fragility of Internet in Asia. In response, the UN outfit had engaged Terabit Consulting to study the state of connectivity across Southeast Asia. The study found that Vietnam’s international connectivity is “Somewhat weak” at regional standard. It said more specifically: “Viet Nam’s submarine cable connectivity is significantly less than other Asian nations.” Last Friday (December 20) Vietnam’s Internet connectivity was shaken when its branching unit to the Asia America Gateway (AAG) was severed by the anchor of a ship.