Convention for the protection of submarine telegraph cables

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The Convention for the Protection of Submarine Telegraph Cables, also known as the International Telecommunication Convention, is an international agreement that aims to protect and regulate the installation and maintenance of submarine telegraph cables. The convention provides guidelines for the protection of these cables from damage and unauthorized interference.

The original Convention for the Protection of Submarine Telegraph Cables was adopted in 1884 and has since undergone several revisions and updates. The most recent version is the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Convention, which was last revised in 2012.

The convention establishes various provisions for the protection of submarine cables, including:

  1. Authorization and Notification: It requires states to authorize and notify the ITU regarding the installation of submarine cables in their territorial waters and exclusive economic zones.
  2. Protection from Damage: Parties to the convention are obligated to take necessary measures to prevent the damage to submarine cables caused by human activities, such as fishing, anchoring, and mineral exploration.
  3. Protection from Unauthorized Interference: The convention prohibits any unauthorized interception or interference with submarine cables. Parties must take measures to prevent such acts and ensure the uninterrupted functioning of these cables.
  4. Reporting and Cooperation: States are required to report any incidents of damage or interference with submarine cables to the ITU and cooperate with each other to investigate and resolve such incidents.
  5. Liability and Compensation: The convention establishes provisions for liability and compensation in case of damage to submarine cables, including liability for ships or cables that cause damage and the obligation of states to cooperate in the investigation and settlement of claims.

It is important to note that the convention primarily focuses on submarine telegraph cables. However, many of its principles and provisions also apply to modern submarine fiber optic cables, which carry a significant portion of global telecommunications traffic.

The Convention for the Protection of Submarine Telegraph Cables is an essential international agreement that helps ensure the reliable and secure functioning of global communication networks by protecting and regulating the installation and maintenance of submarine cables.

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