Cable breakdown hits rail, air ticket sites

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New Delhi, Feb 1: India's electronic ticketing and movie booking sites such as those run by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp. Ltd, or IRCTC, Yatra Online Pvt. Ltd, and PVR Ltd saw a slump in ticket sales a day after two under sea cables carrying telecom traffic were severed in the Mediterranean Sea, disrupting half the Internet and communication capacity serving India.

The government stated in a statement that, it was expected the cables to be repaired within 10 days. Traffic on the affected routes were being shifted to “other cables such as SMW-3 cable and Pacific route cables etc. to restore the telecommunication links." SMW-3 is the name of a cable connecting South-East Asia, West Asia and Europe.

Undersea optic fibre circuits, leased or owned by service providers such as Reliance Communications Ltd, or RCom, Bharti Airtel Ltd or the state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) were affected. Trade body Internet Service Providers Association of India estimated a 40-50 pc reduction in telecom bandwidth. The broken cables, owned by the RCom-controlled Flag Telecom Group, off the Egypt coast also affected services in that country and West Asia.

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