URGENT action is needed to diversify the global deep-sea cable networks on which the internet depends, to secure them against attacks and accidents that could lead to economic turmoil.
So says a report that highlights the vulnerability of businesses worldwide to the targeting of "choke points" in subsea communications networks by saboteurs, pirates and thieves.
International internet and telephone links are almost entirely dependent on bundles of fibre-optic cables that span the oceans. "More than 99 per cent of intercontinental data traffic goes via submarine cable rather than satellite," says Alan Mauldin, an analyst at Telegeography Research, a New York-based market research firm. "People don't realise the vast role cables play."