Following outages on the West Africa Cable System (WACS) and South Atlantic 3 (SAT3) cables yesterday, South Africans have experienced slow speeds when connecting to international websites.
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.
The cable break on the WACS link near the Congo continues to affect customers of numerous South African ISPs.
In addition to these outages, the Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa (TENET) has now reported another break on the WACS link, this time around the United Kingdom.
“We have had a notification that there is a further break in the UK on the WACS cable,” it said.
“We hope to receive clarity on the end-to-end problem in the next few hours as previous reports indicated issues in the Congo area.”
TENET added that a ship is being loaded and will be dispatched to deal with both WACS and SAT-3 breaks near the Congo, but there is currently no update regarding the UK break.
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.
Certain ISPs are now routing their traffic via the EASSY cable which is negatively impacting latency.
This means that until the UK break is dealt with and WACS is restored, South Africans may continue to experience slow Internet speeds.
We have had a notification that there is a further break in the UK on the WACS cable. We hope to receive clarity on the end-to-end problem in the next few hours as previous reports indicated issues in the Congo area. This outage appears to have multiple problems.
— REN Alerts (@RENAlerts) January 17, 2020