The entire Middle East is teetering on the verge of an internet blackout after three out of four undersea cables that connect it to the rest of the world were mysteriously cut at the weekend.

Both internet and phone connections are at risk, with only one submarine cable remaining intact. The cables, which run across the Mediterranean and through the Suez Canal, appear to have been severed somewhere near Egypt.

India slowing

So far, according to the BBC, 'net traffic to India is down by 65 per cent, while Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have also been hit.

Although there's no suggestion that the cables were somehow deliberately cut, a similar incident resulted in two broken cables earlier this year.

Cause for concern

A networking expert told the BBC just how unlikely this scenario is: "Normally you would expect to see one major break per cable per year. With four you should have an insurance policy. For this to happen twice in one year, on the same cable, is a serious cause for concern."