The Bashi Channel is an important passage for military operations. Both Taiwan and the Philippines dispute the ownership of the waters because both sides say the region lies within 200-nautical-mile from their shores. The channel is also significant to communication networks. Many of the undersea cables that carry data and telephone traffic between Asian countries pass through the Bashi Channel, making it a major potential point of failure for the Internet. In December 2006, a magnitude 6.7 submarine earthquake cut several undersea cables at the same time, causing a significant communications bottleneck that lasted several weeks.