SAFE cable fault disrupts internet and banking services in Mauritius

SAFE cable fault disrupts internet and banking services in Mauritius

Internet and banking services were reportedly disrupted in Mauritius on Friday due to a technical glitch with the South Africa Far East (SAFE) submarine cable, although connectivity was restored late the same day.

According to Bloomberg, Mauritius Telecom issued a statement on Friday saying that the SAFE cable had been damaged on the link between Mauritius and South Africa, which was impacting internet services on the island.

SBM Bank (Mauritius) also issued a statement on Friday saying that its ATMs, point-of-sale terminal and cards were “experiencing a temporary unavailability” due to a problem with the SAFE internet gateway.

By late Friday, according to a separate Bloomberg report, Mauritius Telecom had revised its assessment of the problem, saying the SAFE cable hadn’t been damaged after all. Rather, Mauritius Telecom said, the disruption had been caused by “a perturbation in the service on the traffic transiting through the SAFE cable”.

All service was back to normal by late Friday.

The SAFE cable – which links South Africa, Mauritius, La Réunion, India and Malaysia – is one of just two international subsea cables landing in Mauritius. The T3 subsea cable – which directly connects Mauritius to South Africa – was completed in the middle of last year.

The SAFE cable disruption came in the wake of several incidents in the past two months in which subsea cable damage around the African continent led to internet outages in at least 11 countries. In February, three cables were severed in the Red Sea by an anchor drag. The following month, an undersea canyon avalanche off the coast of Cote d’Ivoire damaged four cable systems: WACS, MainOne, South Atlantic 3 and ACE.


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