Repair work has begun on one of the main internet cables to the Channel Islands after it was cut by a ship's dragging anchor on Monday.

30 November

Jersey Coastguard has announced there will be an investigation after a ship’s anchor cut three main internet cables to the Channel Islands on 28 November 2016.

It said it will be looking to see if the ship responsible dropped its anchor in a banned area.

Work has now started to fix one of the cables.

The specialist ship arrived on the site yesterday and the repairs are expected to take a week.

Internet users are being warning to expect slower broadband speeds during peak times.

The main telecom company on Jersey, JT, told the BBC that a repair ship from France is heading to the area to fix the second cable, and then the third undersea cable will be fixed.

JT’s director of corporate affairs for JT, Daragh McDermott, said: “Thanks to the actions taken since the cables were cut, we have capacity in place to manage demand, although we have obviously lost spare capacity should further issues arise.”


29 November

A ship dragging its anchor is being blamed for cutting three main internet cables to the Channel Islands overnight.

The main telecom company on Jersey, JT, is warning its customers to expect broadband disruption for up to a week as repairs are carried out.

All communications traffic to and from the Channel Islands is now being routed via the submarine cable link with France.

This is likely to result in slower broadband speeds.

In a statement, JT said: “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. 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.”

Engineers have already been dispatched to repair the undersea cables.

The director of corporate affairs for JT, Daragh McDermott, said the company would like to “sincerely apologise to our customers for any disruption to their services.”

“We are working as quickly as we can to get our undersea cables repaired, and normal service resumed, and will keep customers up-to-date with what is an extremely challenging emergency engineering operation at sea,” he said.

“It is exceptionally unlucky and unprecedented for three submarine cables to the UK to be cut in the same day, and it proves the value of having multiple links in the network, in order to provide a back-up connection via France,” continued McDermott.

“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,” he concluded.

Jersey’s second biggest telecom provider, Sure, is also reporting difficulties, and is warning of problems with off-island telephone calls.

In a statement it said: “We are having issues with our national (UK) and international traffic caused by a ship in the English Channel which has cut several telecoms cables.”

“Overnight we have rerouted the majority of our traffic and will complete the rerouting this morning; however there are still likely to be some issues and delays with off island calls. SMS and data services should be unaffected,” it said.