Internet connectivity worldwide impacted by severed fiber cables in France


A major internet cable in southern France was severed at 20:30 UTC yesterday, affecting connectivity of undersea cables to Europe, Asia and the United States, causing packet loss and increased website response latency.

Cloud security company Zscaler reports that it has made routing adjustments to mitigate the impact. However, users are still facing issues as app and content providers are directing traffic through the affected paths.

“Zscaler is working with content providers to influence their part of the path,” Zscaler said in a statement.

“If you experience slowness with certain applications, particularly applications hosted abroad, please contact the application provider and refer them to this trustee.”

Repair teams were on site quickly, but had to wait for police to collect evidence before they were allowed to repair the damage.

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At 23:00 UTC it was confirmed that the incident had affected three routes: Marseille-Lyon, Marseille-Milano and Marseille-Barcelona.

However, at 01:00 UTC today when Zscaler’s repair teams restored one of the connections, the technicians continued to observe packet loss and latency for some targets.

At 18:58:01 UTC, Zscaler released a final update stating that the issue has been resolved.

“This incident has been resolved. Please contact Zscaler Support if you have additional questions.” -Zscaler.

Cable damage also in the UK

At the same time, BCC reports that an undersea cable connecting Shetland to mainland Scotland was also damaged, isolating internet users on the island from the rest of the world.

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Not only that, it has reduced the ability of Shetland’s 23,000 residents to call emergency services as communications in general have been compromised.

Police of Scotland today issued a recommendation urging people not to make unnecessary calls as the few lines available should remain open for emergencies.

This incident came as technicians were already working to repair the connection between the Faroe Islands and Shetland, which was also severed last week.

The two damaged sea cables
The two damaged sea cables (

Faroese Telecom infrastructure manager Páll Vesturbú told the BBC that the cable cuts were believed to have been made by fishing vessels, although it is unusual for two incidents to occur at the same time.

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“We assume that it will be fishing vessels that have damaged the cable, but it is very rare that we have two problems at the same time,” Vesturbú told the BBC.

Investigations into these latest incidents are ongoing and there is currently nothing to suggest that they were acts of sabotage.

Update 10/20/22: Updated story and title to show it was a fiber optic cable on land that was severed and affected submarine cables.
To update 10/20/22: This article originally contained a section on possible sabotage. As this possibility is speculation at this time and there is no evidence of sabotage, we have removed it.


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