Great news for South Africa’s slow Internet

The repairs to the West Africa Cable System (WACS) are complete, with the connection beginning to recover.

The South African National Research and Education Network (SANREN) tweeted this morning that it began to see recovery of the SANREN WACS links as of 07:13.

It has now confirmed that post-recovery checks are being done to ensure that the cable is properly fixed.

It added that that connectivity may be interrupted for brief periods during this process.

“We are awaiting final clearance that all is well,” tweeted SANREN.

This followed communication from SANREN yesterday that the repair process was proceeding on schedule.

Cable breaks

On Friday 27 March, a break was detected on a cable belonging to TATA.

This cable connects between Highbridge in the UK and Seixal in Portugal, and connects African users to Europe.

The TATA-owned Ile D’Aix repair ship was promptly dispatched to the location of the break to commence repairs.

It arrived at the break on 31 March and began work on the repairs immediately.

The SAT-3 cable, which also runs along the west coast of Africa, was also down following a break on 9 March, but RENAlerts noted on 31 March that its SAT-3 links were being restored.

The simultaneous breaks on WACS and SAT-3 caused international connectivity issues for many South African ISPs.

A repeat scenario

This is not the first time this year that breaks on the WACS and SAT-3 cables have taken place simultaneously.

In January, both cables suffered breaks on the same day.

Both of these breaks were in the middle of the ocean off the coast of Congo, while WACS suffered another break near a European landing station.

The Leon Thevenin repair ship had its departure delayed because of poor weather in Cape Town, meaning it took weeks for the repairs to be completed.

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Great news for South Africa’s slow Internet