Slow Internet speeds in South Africa — break in undersea cables

The West African Cable System (WACS) and the South Atlantic 3 (SAT–3) undersea cables have experienced breaks impacting connectivity to South Africa, MyBroadband has learned.

Two well-placed sources who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorised to speak to media provided details about the incident.

The breaks were reportedly caused by a rock fall in the Congo Canyon.

Based on the distance measured using the systems’ Coherent Optical Time Domain Reflectometer, the breaks occurred between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon.

According to network status reports, SAT–3 was cut on Sunday morning, while WACS went down later that evening.

The cable-laying ship Léon Thévenin has been mobilised for deep-water repair.

However, MarineTraffic reports the ship landed in Mombasa, Kenya yesterday after a 10-day voyage from Cape Town.

A quick repair of the break is therefore unlikely.

17:00 update — Openserve confirms breaks

Telkom’s wholesale fixed-line division — Openserve — has confirmed the breaks and said it was working with its consortium partners to facilitate the restoration of the cables.

“The impact on our network is limited to customers on the international private leased circuits (IPLC) services,” Openserve said.

“The Openserve network remains robust due to our investment in other international cable capacity, hence all Openserve IP Transit services (WebReach) traffic have been automatically re-routed, ensuring our customers stay seamlessly connected.”

Openserve said that no official restoration timeline had been communicated by the consortium.

Reporting with Hanno Labuschagne.

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Slow Internet speeds in South Africa — break in undersea cables