BEIJING - CHINA'Sbiggest telecommunications companies have restored nearly all phone and Internet capacity that was affected by last month's earthquake near Taiwan, state media reported yesterday.
China Telecom and China Netcom said major cables handling fibre-optic traffic, mostly between China and North America, had been 'basically' fixed, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.
The companies are now focusing on repairing other damaged cables that carried smaller volumes of traffic, the paper said, quoting company officials.
Capacity would be restored fully in the next two weeks, they said.
On Monday, Hong Kong's Office of the Telecommunications Authority (Ofta) said most of the seven submarine cables damaged by the quake had been fixed, but that one would take longer than estimated.
Repair work would be completed at the end of next month instead of in the middle of the month as had been anticipated earlier.
Ofta director-general Au Man Ho said Internet providers had diverted Web traffic, and that the delay was not having a significant impact on Internet services in Hong Kong.
'According to our reports from the providers, all services have largely returned to normal - it is approaching 100 per cent,' he said.
The 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck the seabed near Taiwan on Dec 26, snapping a number of undersea international telecom cables.
The breakages caused major communications disruptions in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and farther afield.
Various telecoms companies sent ships to repair the cables through a complicated procedure that involved pulling the heavy cables up from the ocean floor.
Though Chinese Internet services were mostly restored in a matter of days by rerouting traffic to other telecom lines, Web surfing speeds had remained relatively sluggish.