MCI Response to PQ on Safeguarding Submarine Data Cables against Sabotage and Major Disruptions
Parliament Sitting on 7 November 2022
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
56. Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information what measures are in place to (i) safeguard submarine data cables connecting Singapore with locations overseas against sabotage and major disruption (ii) ensure continuity in the event of a major disruption and (iii) expedite recovery.
Submarine data cables are vital to the digital connectivity that drives the global economy. Today, they carry more than 95% of global data flows. Singapore is a leading Asia-Pacific hub for submarine cables – we are connected to many destinations, including key hubs such as Europe, China, Japan and the United States.
There have been incidents of damage to submarine cables by shipping and fishing activities, as well as natural causes such as undersea landslides and earthquakes. Singapore’s international connectivity has remained resilient throughout, due to the diversity and volume of our connections to other countries.
Over the past five years, the number of submarine cables landed in Singapore has increased from 19 to 26. MCI and IMDA will continue to strengthen the diversity and resilience of our submarine cable network. This includes partnering relevant government agencies to attract new submarine cables to land in Singapore, connecting us to new destinations and through different routes. We also work with international partners to safeguard this network of submarine cables, for example, through setting up prior agreements to facilitate the expeditious and efficient installation, maintenance, and repair of submarine cables.