( dpa ) - Egypt's Ministry of Telecommunications said Thursday that the country's internet service would be restored within a week, after the service was cut following damage to two underwater cables in the Mediterranean Sea connecting Egypt to Europe.
About 70 per cent of Egypt, 60 per cent of India and many parts of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia experienced a slow rate of connectivity Wednesday.
Firms, banks and airlines sales offices have experienced delays and frequent stops in the work flow due to the internet disruption.
Call centres and international calls were also reportedly affected.
Dramatic losses in business are expected, despite satellite alternatives to the two disconnected cables.
"Fixing the two disconnected cables would require some time, not less than one week," a media spokesman from the ministry told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
Despite the current internet disruption, he said the efficiency of the service was significantly improving.
"The efficiency of the internet service in Egypt reached 40 per cent on Thursday and is expected to increase to 75 per cent on Friday," he said.
The severed links of the FLAG Telecom and SEA-ME-WE-4 are two long submarine cables that link South East Asia to Europe through India and the Middle East.
According to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Telecommunications, reasons for the cut off were still unknown, but bad weather conditions may have been to blame.
The disconnection might have been caused by a ship that accidentally cut the cable after it was diverted from the port of Alexandria due to bad weather, TE Data, one of Egypt's major internet companies said.