Fibre optic submarine cables are recognised as critical communication infrastructure that are important to the global economy and the national security of all states. But there is a lack of awareness of submarine telecommunication in the general public. In Southeast Asia, there are a few coastal states enforcing laws and regulations on the laying and repairing of submarine cables that are not consistent with UNCLOS and other rules of international law, and there were occasions whereby the cables were cut and sold for profit, because of the ignorance of the fishermen. These practices have caused interference to international communication.
CIL has conducted a significant amount of research on the legal regime governing submarine cables since 2009. Through its workshops and publications, CIL helps to raise awareness of the importance of submarine cables and help states and the cable industry to protect these critical infrastructure using legal mechanisms.