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NEW DELHI – At least for a while, the World Wide Web wasn’t so worldwide. Two cables that carry Internet traffic deep under the Mediterranean Sea snapped, disrupting service Thursday across a swath of East Asia and the Middle East.
India took one of the biggest hits, and the damage from its slowdowns and outages rippled to some U.S. and European companies that rely on its lucrative outsourcing industry to handle customer service calls and other operations.
“There’s definitely been a slowdown,” said Anurag Kuthiala, a system engineer at the New Delhi office of Symantec Corp., a security software maker based in California. “We’re able to work, but the system is very slow.”
While the cause of the damage wasn’t yet known, the scope was wide: Traffic slowed on the Dubai stock exchange, and there was concern that workers who labor for the well-off in the Mideast might not be able to send money home to poor relatives.
The long-awaited Iranian Oil Bourse, a place for trading oil, petrochemicals and gas in various non-dollar currencies, will soon open.
Iran's Finance Minister Davoud Danesh-Jafari told reporters the bourse will be inaugurated during the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution (February 1-11) at the latest.