Chunghwa users to suffer a monthlong slow Internet connection

By Kuan-lin Liu, The China Post

An unusual suspect may be to blame for a month of slower connection speeds to overseas websites for Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信) customers, after a possible shark attack damaged a submarine communications cable. According to a statement posted on Hinet, Chunghwa Telecom discovered a disruption in the connection of the Asia-Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN 2), a submarine telecommunications cable that provides interconnection linking up the U.S., Europe, Australia, and other parts of Asia, on Saturday morning. While local media reports speculated that the jaws of a great white nuisance were to blame, Chunghwa Telecom did not clarify the cause of the disruption.

Chunghwa’s clients have since found that connection speeds to popular websites including YouTube, imgur, Twitch, and DMM have been affected.

Interim Chunghwa spokesman Shen Fu-fu (沈馥馥) said that as there were only three companies in the world with cable-laying ships, the earliest a repair could be scheduled was May.

According to tech website iThome, undersea communications cables are susceptible to damage caused by sea water, earthquakes, typhoons, and other natural disasters.

After the severe Tohoku earthquake on March 11, 2011, two undersea cables connecting Taiwan and Japan suffered damage that resulted in glitches in the provision of Taiwanese web-based content to both Japan and the U.S.