Many South African Internet users are currently experiencing slow speeds when connecting to international websites.
This is due to the West Africa Cable System (WACS) international link being down, which affects customers of numerous South African ISPs.
MyBroadband has received information that there is a suspected WACS cable fault between Limbe (Cameroon) and DRC (Muanda).
Details about the fault and its exact location have not been established because of a loss of network monitoring capability.
The company is currently troubleshooting the problem with cable stations along its route to try and isolate the fault.
The WACS cable downtime affects most large ISPs in South Africa, including Webafrica, Afrihost, Axxess, and Mind The Speed.
Many of these ISPs posted network status updates citing the international cable outage as the cause of slow international connections.
Openserve has stated that both WACS and SAT3/WASC systems have experienced a break.
Certain ISPs are now routing their traffic via the EASSY cable which is negatively impacting latency.
“There is currently a major international outage affecting WACS and EASSy cable systems,” Mind The Speed stated.
“WACS (West Africa Cable System) and SAT3 international links are reported to be down at the moment. Webafrica as well as other ISPs are affected by this confirmed cable break,” Webafrica said on Twitter.
WACS is a submarine cable which links South Africa with the United Kingdom. It has 14 landing points – 12 along the western coast of Africa and two in Europe.
The SAT3 cable links South Africa to Portugal and Spain, and also includes landing points at several West African countries.
It is not yet clear when the cable outages will be resolved and international Internet speeds will be returned to normal.
Dual cable break – Openserve
Openserve has stated that both the WACS and SAT3/WASC systems have been affected by breaks and it has been liaising with the undersea cable consortiums about the “loss of service”.
“The unusual and simultaneous dual cable break has resulted in customers, that are connected to Openserve’s global capacity clients, experiencing reduced speed on international browsing. International voice calling and mobile roaming has also been impacted,” said Openserve.
“Openserve has ascertained that the SAT3/WASC break is in the Libreville, Gabon vicinity and that the WACS break point is in the vicinity of Luanda, Angola.”