Massive South African Internet outage

South Africans could not connect to both local and international websites, thanks to international cable outages.

By - January 21, 2016 Share on LinkedIn
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South Africans are reporting that they cannot connect to both local and international websites, while a local ISP has warned users of a “National Internet outage” which is affecting its clients’ connectivity.

Smart Village sent a message to clients stating that is was currently affected by a national Internet outage, and all it was “looking into the matter with our backhaul providers”.

Afrihost informed subscribers that WACS and Seacom are down, and that they have rerouted DSL traffic via fail-over cables.

MWEB said it is experiencing major international link failures affecting all international traffic, and that Seacom and WACS engineers are urgently attending to the matter.

Vodacom said shortly before 19:30 that “some subscribers may experience data connection problems due to a Seacom fault”.

A MyBroadband reader stated that he received a notification that Google peering was offline in Johannesburg, and all traffic was being routed internationally.

Other readers complained they could not connect to any international websites.

Seacom critical outage

Undersea cable operator Seacom has stated it is experiencing multiple critical outages on its terrestrial network across Egypt.

“All our international connectivity through Egypt has been affected since 14:06 GMT on the 21st January 2016,” said the company.

“Repair teams have been dispatched. Seacom continues to monitor the situation closely and will provide necessary updates.”

Seacom said at 18:30 that a terrestrial fibre cut had been located, and that “the team is on site and repairing the cable”.

Update: Seacom said the terrestrial network problem was successfully repaired on 21 January 2016 at 18:46.

NAPAfrica traffic graphs show sharp drop

NAPAfrica, a layer 2 Internet Exchange (IX) point located within each Teraco data centre, reported a sharp drop in traffic across its South African IX points from around 16:00 on 21 January.

Google, Telkom Internet, Afrihost, and Netflix are example of parties which peer at NAPAfrica.

The graph below shows the sharp decline in traffic across NAPAfrica’s Internet Exchange points in the country.

This is indicative of little traffic exchanging hands between networks in South Africa.

Hosting provider Hetzner also posted a “slow or intermittent international connectivity” notice, informing users that its Johannesburg and Cape Town data centres were affected.

This would result in customers experiencing connectivity problems.

Multiple undersea cable outages and “large networks being offline” were also reported to MyBroadband by industry sources.


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