First there was the presumed sabotage on the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea, to which nobody has owned up to yet by the way, although Russia is strongly suspected. Then there was the disruption to undersea cables to Shetland which shut everything down, including bank ATMs which meant that for a short while IOUs became the currency of those islands. This time the reason seems to have been more innocent, probably caused by fishing gear or a dragging anchor.
Nonetheless, incidents such as these have focused attention on the security of undersea pipelines and cables worldwide. Subsea infrastructure is generally buried in trenches where possible, but some types of seabed make this more difficult and it is less common for communications cables. It is estimated that there might be more than 530 active or planned submarine telecoms cables around the world. Extending to more than 1.3 million kilometres, they carry ninety-five per cent of the world’s internet traffic. Listen to the full podcast