It’s easy to forget in this wireless world that much of the infrastructure that keeps Instagram feeds updating and WhatsApp conversations flowing is under the sea, with large cables carrying all that data from one place to another. Residents of the Channel Islands are being reminded of that fact today after three cables connecting the islands to the UK were severed yesterday, thought to be caused by a ship dragging its anchor across the English Channel.
JT, the region’s largest telecoms provider, has called the situation “exceptionally unlucky and unprecedented,” and is warning customers they can expect service disruption for the next week or more as the cables are repaired. The area’s other major provider Sure has also confirmed its services are affected. For now, all memes, fake news and spam emails are being routed through a back-up cable connecting the islands to France.