Illustration. Experts reveal the trigger for submarine cables such as those of Telkom can break up disturbing IndiHome and Telkomsel internet connections and after the October update
Netgenz - Technology | Experts said several triggers for submarine cables to be destroyed or broken, such as those of Telkom, which affect the IndiHome and Telkomsel networks and will be updated in mid-October. Telkom Group said the problem with internet service at the IndiHome operator at the end of last week was due to problems with the mechanism of the Jasuka (Java, Sumatra, and Kalimantan) submarine cable at the Batam-Pontianak boundary. Deputy Director of Operations for Cyber Security Independence Resilience Team of Indonesia, Muhammad Salahuddien Manggalanny, explained that the majority of underwater cable breaks were caused by human activities.
"More than 90% of submarine cable incidents are due to physical/mechanical problems in the cable overlay such as being attacked by anchors, fishing rods, fishing trolls," Salahuddien said to CNNIndonesia.com via text message, Wednesday (22/9). And problems caused by non-human factors such as natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions under the sea or shifting currents in the sea, according to Salahuddien, rarely occur. This is because the submarine cable overlay lanes have been estimated to avoid the power of geographic terror and such disasters, such as other types of infrastructure such as toll roads and airports.
Shark bitten cable
In addition, Salahuddien explained that the chance of the underwater cable being cut off due to a fish bite is very small. Underwater cables are made of strong material and do not attract the interest of underwater biota. "Submarine cable material (protective tube/shell tube) is a material that does not attract biota's interest, whether magnetic, aggressiveness, reproduction, and consumption," he said. "In addition, it is resistant to environmental physical obstacles (water pressure and underwater currents), can withstand collisions, bending and counting punctures (bites)," added Salahuddien.
How long does the update take?
Furthermore, Salahuddien explained that the time and process of renewing damaged or broken submarine cables depended on the level of damage. If the damage occurs at the overlay boundary which is busy with highways or is in the deep sea and strong currents, as long as there is a special ship for overlay and renewal, the connecting process itself will take some time. "In the process, the cable will be taken from the seabed to the renewal ship and connected. When it is finished, it will be lowered back to the seabed according to the overlay lane," he explained.
According to Salahuddien, the renewal process takes time because generally, operators have to line up to get a replacement for the renewal of submarine cables. Another problem is that the location of the submarine cable ship is far from the point of damage. In addition, the number of ships that can play a role in the operation of submarine cable overlays as well as carry out damage updates is limited. "There are few around the world ... so they always line up and fight for focus," he continued.
Salahuddien explained that submarine cables are not planted on the seabed like fiber optic cables are planted on land. However, the cable is only placed above the seabed in the continental shelf area of one country or following international lanes. Each country also has the power to regulate this submarine cable overlay lane, all players must obey and are prohibited from carrying cables outside the continental shelf or the lanes that have been decided.
"Similarly in international seas. Furthermore, this lane will be included on the maritime map so that marine highway can find out the overlay area of submarine cables so that they can avoid or maybe not disturb," said Salahuddien.
Illustration. Experts say that there are several triggers for the Aleut cable, such as having a Telkom it can break up to interfere with IndiHome and Telkomsel internet connections
If what is broken is the submarine cable owned by Telkom, then why does this also have an influence on Telkomsel's service, which is called a mobile operator? Salahuddien explained that this arises because the service of mobile operators that rely on wireless networks, such as Telkomsel, still requires FO (fiber optic/fiber optic), including optical cables on the seabed.
He explained that mobile services come from BTS (Base Station) which transmits wireless signals to the user's mobile device. However, the network from BTS to MSC (Mobile Switching Center) to the internet, all are connected by a backbone in the form of fiber optic cables. These cables connect networks between islands or between countries. This cable stretches either in landline or undersea overlay.
Currently, only a small number or maybe less than 20% of telecommunications backbones use terrestrial wireless (microwave access) and VSAT (satellite), because of their limited capabilities. Generally, terrestrial wireless access and VSAT are mostly used to serve isolated areas with fewer users.
"In essence, the capability of the FO cable can be unlimited, the only limitation is the strength of the interface device. So if the ability is lacking due to increased needs, just swap interfaces while the FO cable used is still different," said Salahuddien. This is different from wireless, which uses limited frequency natural resources, its ability has an optimal limit. In addition to the ability to wireless access, usually must also swap the entire device.
Initially, the Telkom Group said the problem with internet service at the IndiHome operator was due to a problem with the Jasuka submarine cable mechanism at the Batam-Pontianak boundary. Telkom's Vice President of Corporate Communication, Pujo Pramono, explained that Telkomsel and Indihome service problems were detected from a point about 1.5 km off the coast of Batam at a depth of 20 meters. at sea level.
The Jasuka cable has 17 landing points spread over the islands of Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Malaysia. Those points are in Bandar Lampung, Batam, Baturaja, Dumai, Jakarta, Jambi, Medan, Padang, Palembang, Pekanbaru, Pontianak, Rantau Prapat, Sibolga Tanjung Pakis, Tanjung Pandan, Tebing Tinggi, and Bandar Bukit Tinggi in Selangor, Malaysia.
Telkom claims Jasuka is one of the longest sea cable lines in the world. The cable installation consists of four 40G channels which can accommodate up to 16 times the conservative line. Telkom made the mechanism for the Java-Sumatra-Kalimantan submarine cable as an effort from the Indonesia Digital Network. The target is that 90% of cities and districts in Indonesia are connected to broadband networks by 2015.