A police investigation of damage to an undersea cable that helps provide Internet- and other communications services to Svalbard has spurred suspicions of sabotage. People, not natural causes, are believed to be behind the damage.
The cable stopped working in the early morning hours of January 7. Internet and communications were quickly restored, thanks to a second reserve cable that was not damaged.
The incident set off the investigation, though, that included use of an underwater robot that could send photos of the cable. “The preliminary investigation strengthens our hypothesis that external influence led to the one cable losing its connection,” Ronny Jørgensen of the Troms Police District in Northern Norway told newspaper Bergens Tidende.
Jørgensen wouldn’t elaborate, but said it’s more likely humans are behind the damage than any natural forces. He said police haven’t filed any charges and have no suspects. The damage to the cable was found between 130- and 230 kilometers from Longyearbyen, the main settlement on Svalbard which is under Norwegian control, in an area where the sea descends from relatively shallow levels to very deep water.