Appearing as a “drill” for the saboteurs who also compromised Nord Stream infrastructure, fibre-optic cables used to link several remote islands off the coast of Scotland suddenly stopped working on Thursday, halting both internet access and mobile phone communications for local residents.
Local police in Shetland reported a “complete outage” of fibre optic connectivity and that “phones, internet and computers are not usable”: there has been a “complete outage” in the isles and that “phones, internet and computers are not usable”.
Although those directly responsible tried to quickly remedy the situation that had arisen, the problem was quickly identified in the submarine cable linking the islands to the UK mainland via the north of Scotland.
At present, there is no concrete analysis to show that the disruption of service was caused by a terrorist attack, similar to that suspected to have been behind the sabotage of the two Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines used by Germany to supply natural gas from Russia.
The cable, known as SHEFA-2, is of little importance overall, with a relatively small population served. Thus, if it turns out that this was not a random incident, the attack will surely mark a “warning shot” from the aggressor that has already hit Germany’s natural gas infrastructure. Ultimately, the disruption could be resolved by turning to alternative technologies, such as the Staslink internet provided by the US company SpaceX, and we can only hope it doesn’t come to that.