A cable repair vessel is on its way to the break in the WACS undersea cable. It is estimated that the repair will be completed by 4 April 2020.
This is according to the latest report from the RENAlerts service by SANReN and TENET.
RENAlerts recently confirmed that a break on the West Africa Cable System (WACS) took place on a cable belonging to TATA between Highbridge in the UK, and Seixal in Portugal.
RENAlerts reported that the repair ship tasked with fixing the break in WACS has the necessary spares aboard and is underway to the break. It is expected to arrive at the location of the break on 31 March. The completed repair of the cable is then set for 4 April.
WACS Outage Update: Cable vessel, the “Ile D’Aix”, underway to the SV8 (Highbridge UK) side cable break. ETA at cable ground – Tue 31/03/2020 09h00 UTC. Estimated repair date: Sat 04/04/2020. The approximate position of “Ile D’Aix” on its journey is as attached. pic.twitter.com/rY5YdOcq9s
— SA NREN Operational Updates & Alerts (@RENAlerts) March 30, 2020
The cable break has caused a degradation in international connectivity speeds for many Internet service providers in South Africa.
Making matters worse is the fact that the SAT-3 cable, which also runs along the west coast of Africa, is still down following a break on 9 March.
The Orange Marine repair ship Leon Thevenin has arrived at the break in the SAT-3 cable off the coast of Congo. RENAlerts confirmed that the ship departed from Cape Town harbour on 15 March.
“The estimated repair completion date for the SAT-3 outage is 2 April 2020,” RENAlerts reported.
Five major breaks in one year
The simultaneous breaks on WACS and SAT-3 are reminiscent of a similar situation earlier this year when both cables went down on the same day in January.
Both cables had breaks in the middle of the ocean, also off the coast of Congo, and WACS was affected by a second break near a European landing station.
Bad weather in Cape Town delayed the Leon Thevenin’s departure at the time, and South Africans were plagued with slow Internet for weeks until WACS was repaired.
The two cables were only fully restored on 19 February.