Seacom outage update from CEO Mark Simpson

justing

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Aug 4, 2009
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From October 2012 my downloading of torrents with Mweb would constantly stall and I would have to manually restart them. I contacted Mweb and I was told the same story that there was nothing wrong on their side and the fault was with Telkom. I contacted Telkom on a number of occasions quoting what Mweb had told me, they would check the line and get back to me that the line had been checked and it was free of all faults. I still did not believe what Telkom had told me. During mid-February 2013 I happened to use another shaped uncapped account from another ISP and I have not had a single problem, my torrents did not stall as well as my Skype connection was great. When I contacted Mweb the reply was that they do not investigate problems relating to download problems with torrents on shaped accounts. Since having gone over to IS there have been 2 incidents where Mweb have had problems with Seacom and I have not been affected at all as an IS client.
 

Gordon_R

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AFAIK the SEACOM cable terminates in the Red Sea (Djibouti). Further connections go via one of several cables across the Mediterranean. Does anyone know which cable (or more than one) is broken , since none of the articles or press releases have actually specified this?

I can clearly remember previous breaks (both in 2011) on SEA-ME-WE-4 and TE-North (which are not actually owned by SEACOM). See: http://manypossibilities.net/african-undersea-cables/

Surely it must be possible for SEACOM to re-route traffic, rather than waiting a week (or two) for one cable to be repaired? If there is a total breakdown in the Mediterranean this would have been more widely reported.
 

AndrewAlston

Group Head of IP Strategy – Liquid Telecommunicati
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AFAIK the SEACOM cable terminates in the Red Sea (Djibouti). Further connections go via one of several cables across the Mediterranean. Does anyone know which cable (or more than one) is broken , since none of the articles or press releases have actually specified this?

I can clearly remember previous breaks (both in 2011) on SEA-ME-WE-4 and TE-North (which are not actually owned by SEACOM). See: http://manypossibilities.net/african-undersea-cables/

Surely it must be possible for SEACOM to re-route traffic, rather than waiting a week (or two) for one cable to be repaired? If there is a total breakdown in the Mediterranean this would have been more widely reported.
I've been doing some digging. Here is what I can confirm:

IMEWE Cable System has been down since the 8th of March, and last update on that on the 8th of March, was "A couple of weeks" till its repaired.
SMW3 is down, and estimated repair date there is the 22nd of April.
EIG and TE-North are both down, no estimated time to repair (but I would suspect thats going to be a fair bit longer than a week, 2 weeks on the inside, 3 to 4 on the outside).

Basically, there is no capacity to be had to restore anything anywhere right now. It's kinda the perfect storm :(

East Africa is now reliant on TEAMS (via the UAE), or SAFE (via malaysia, and safe is a very very small cable). In South Africa, its WACS and SAT-3 and SAFE, SAT-3 and SAFE aren't big systems though.
 

Drifter

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Message from CEO – 23 March

As SEACOM has indicated in previous communications, multiple cable systems continue to be affected across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. I know that many of you are keen to know the cause of the outage is a physical cable cut some kilometres north of the coast of Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea. This is not likely to be known until the cable is repaired in the coming week or two and the damaged section is recovered from the seabed and inspected. However we suspect, based on our experience with sub-sea systems and the nature of the sea area where the cut has occurred, that the most likely cause is external aggression to the cable most probably caused by a larger vessel dragging its anchor across the sea bed. Unfortunately this remains a common cause of damage to cable systems globally, despite our continued efforts to protect the cable with armour, burying, notifications to ships of cable location and exclusion zones.

The SEACOM team’s first focus at this time remains getting restoration services turned up and our resources are committed to that work. However, this process is proving much more complex and taking longer than we were initially told by our suppliers and would have expected. Whilst we believed we had secured adequate restoration capacity between Egypt and Europe yesterday (Friday), it has since eventuated during today that the physical capability to connect this capacity to our services in Europe is neither adequate nor stable enough. In addition the capacity that may be available is in a long line of activations requested by many carriers (and requiring many hundreds of Gb’s) and is not progressing at the rate we, or our customers, need.

SEACOM continues to push for activation as a priority, co-ordinating across a number of carriers internationally. However, as this is not providing solutions in the time frame we require, we are also actively seeking new restoration solutions. This will continue to take some time and we are not able to provide timeframes as yet on when services will be restored.

Please be assured that the SEACOM team is working hard to get our services back up as quickly as we can. We will continue to communicate directly to customers and post here as we have information for you.

With our sincerest apologies,

Mark Simpson

CEO, SEACOM
 

AndrewAlston

Group Head of IP Strategy – Liquid Telecommunicati
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Message from CEO – 23 March

As SEACOM has indicated in previous communications, multiple cable systems continue to be affected across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. I know that many of you are keen to know the cause of the outage is a physical cable cut some kilometres north of the coast of Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea. This is not likely to be known until the cable is repaired in the coming week or two and the damaged section is recovered from the seabed and inspected. However we suspect, based on our experience with sub-sea systems and the nature of the sea area where the cut has occurred, that the most likely cause is external aggression to the cable most probably caused by a larger vessel dragging its anchor across the sea bed. Unfortunately this remains a common cause of damage to cable systems globally, despite our continued efforts to protect the cable with armour, burying, notifications to ships of cable location and exclusion zones.

The SEACOM team’s first focus at this time remains getting restoration services turned up and our resources are committed to that work. However, this process is proving much more complex and taking longer than we were initially told by our suppliers and would have expected. Whilst we believed we had secured adequate restoration capacity between Egypt and Europe yesterday (Friday), it has since eventuated during today that the physical capability to connect this capacity to our services in Europe is neither adequate nor stable enough. In addition the capacity that may be available is in a long line of activations requested by many carriers (and requiring many hundreds of Gb’s) and is not progressing at the rate we, or our customers, need.

SEACOM continues to push for activation as a priority, co-ordinating across a number of carriers internationally. However, as this is not providing solutions in the time frame we require, we are also actively seeking new restoration solutions. This will continue to take some time and we are not able to provide timeframes as yet on when services will be restored.

Please be assured that the SEACOM team is working hard to get our services back up as quickly as we can. We will continue to communicate directly to customers and post here as we have information for you.

With our sincerest apologies,

Mark Simpson

CEO, SEACOM
According to sources, estimated time to repair on TE-NORTH which is the primary carrier of SEACOM through the Med (tentative date, still very subject to movement) is 10th of April 2013. (So 3 weeks).
 

Gordon_R

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Andrew, as always thanks for your highly informative posts (in a world of half-truths and misinformation)! If there is no capacity in the Mediterranean, why does SEACOM keep promising to restore links 'real-soon-now'?

If SEACOM is totally screwed, then it seems ZA ISPs will have to source their own capacity from WACS (as best they can at short notice...)
 

AndrewAlston

Group Head of IP Strategy – Liquid Telecommunicati
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Andrew, as always thanks for your highly informative posts (in a world of half-truths and misinformation)! If there is no capacity in the Mediterranean, why does SEACOM keep promising to restore links 'real-soon-now'?

If SEACOM is totally screwed, then it seems ZA ISPs will have to source their own capacity from WACS (as best they can at short notice...)
Not sure they are totally screwed yet. There may be other options (Take it eastwards and then loopback) or various other potentials. I think everyone is working real hard at finding a solution and things will become cleared in the next few hours. Let's not jump to conclusions just yet, keep in mind there are a TON of paths you can take around the world and I think we need to avoid panicing until things become a bit more clear :)
 

LinuxMan

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most likely cause is external aggression to the cable most probably by a larger vessel dragging its anchor across the sea bed.

This article headline should be renamed too: Dragging anchor from ship destroys seacom cable...
 

Gordon_R

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Thanks Andrew, I'm sure there are always options. What I meant was that if most of the 'good' routes are not available, the others tend to be much worse in terms of capacity and latency. I have a few tracerts from SEACOM outages in 2010 that show routing via the Far East (trans-Pacific), with latency in the 400-600ms range. Those were painful weeks...
 

Sonic2k

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what a joke. I always knew this SEACOM cable was a crock of crap.
Now because of it the internet is useless for me and I have to pay more to switch to another ISP that runs via SAT-3 or something else.
 

rpm

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Update on Sunday 24 March:

SEACOM continues to work to restore transmission customers across the Mediterranean Sea. Optimisation of the IP network is also ongoing to relieve congestion where we can.

We will update further as information becomes available.
 

Buzybuy

Dealer
Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
259
Can confirm that although IS and MTN network speeds are fluctuating by a few percent, it's still performing extremely well.

MTN

MTN - Speedtest (International)
MTN-SpeedTest-2.png

MTN - Torrent (Public Tracker - International)
MTN-Torrent-2.jpg

IS

IS- Speedtest (International)
IS-SpeedTest-2.png

IS- Torrent (Public Tracker - International)
IS-Torrent-2.jpg
 

HavocXphere

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Oct 19, 2007
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Can confirm that although IS and MTN network speeds are fluctuating by a few percent, it's still performing extremely well.
Depends on the package. The more expensive ones have SAT3 / WACS / Eassy redundancy & so aren't really affected anyway.
 

mRsKu11

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Oct 29, 2010
Messages
142
Do you mind not downloading so the rest of us can at least browse the net?
 
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