Seacom has stated that an outage on the WACS cable system is affecting its network platform.
“Seacom is aware that due to issues on the WACS cable system on Africa’s west coast, many African ISPs and their customers could be experiencing unstable or slower speeds when using the Internet,” said Seacom.
“Seacom’s network platform is also affected by the WACS issues, but as the Seacom cable system on Africa’s east coast is continuing to work normally, Seacom endeavours to provide ISPs that rely heavily on WACS with diverse capacity on the Seacom cable system.”
“As a result of the WACS cable system issues, customers may experience increased latency as alternative routes are implemented,” Seacom said.
TENET, the operating partner of the South African national research and education network, said the WACS outage is due to a “complete cable cut on segment 4 at 39.0175Km from SV8 Cable Landing Station”.
It said this cut is on a cable belonging to TATA and is between Highbridge in the UK and Seixal in Portugal.
Afrihost also acknowledged the break, and confirmed it has managed to reroute some of its traffic to lessen the effect the break has on its users.
It is still looking to bring more capacity online over an alternative path.
Second major cable break of 2020
This is the second major cable break to affect South African users this year, following a break that involved the WACS link in January.
This affected many South African ISPs at the time, and the effect on users varied in accordance with their ability to acquire capacity on alternative routes.
If an ISP has sufficient capacity on the various cable systems which land in South Africa – WACS, EASSy, SAT3, SAFE, and Seacom – the impact of a single cable break is minimised.
However, if an ISP relies solely upon WACS for international connectivity, such a break can be incredibly debilitating.