Bad news about break in undersea cables

It will take a month or more for a cable repair ship to reach the site of a break in the West African Cable System (WACS) about 3,600km northwest of South Africa, MyBroadband has learned.

This comes after news emerged that a rock fall in the Congo Canyon on Sunday caused breaks in WACS and the South Atlantic 3 (SAT–3) undersea cables.

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.

Telkom’s wholesale and networks division, Openserve, confirmed the breaks and assured the impact on its operations would be minimal.

“We are collaborating with the consortium partners to facilitate the restoration of these cables,” an Openserve spokesperson told MyBroadband.

Openserve said the impact on its network was limited to customers using international private leased circuits services.

“The Openserve network remains robust due to our investment in other international cable capacity, hence all Openserve IP Transit services (WebReach) traffic has been automatically re-routed,” it said.

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

However, according to a recent status update, the ship is currently busy with repairs on another subsea cable system.

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

The Léon Thévenin’s estimated time of arrival to reach the site of the WACS fault is anywhere during the first three weeks of September, subject to weather conditions.


Thanks to Jade for the tip.

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Bad news about break in undersea cables