There’s finally some good news about repairs to the West Africa Cable System (WACS) submarine fibre cable – at least for subscribers in South Africa.
Local press reports indicate that the repair to a break in the African end of the WACS submarine fibre cable has been completed two days ahead of schedule. However, that doesn’t mean it’s now back to full service. There was a second break in the cable near the UK. This is now being addressed and original estimates of a repair time of up to three weeks have been revised.
It is now estimated that the UK break will be repaired on 12 February, which means end-to-end connectivity on WACS – a high-capacity cable that connects Africa to the rest of the world – will be restored much earlier than expected.
There has been another break affecting Africa of course – in the SAT-3 cable, which is a submarine communications cable which links Portugal and Spain to South Africa, with connections to several West African countries en route. Reports indicate that the cable-laying vessel Léon Thévenin, is on its way to deal with this one, with a completion date, estimated by Openserve, South African service provider Telkom’s wholesale and networking division, of 17 February.
Telkom, which owns stakes in both WACS and SAT–3, was badly affected by the disruption, with international speeds said to be only five per cent of local speeds, though a number of ISPs, as well as mobile operators, also suffered after the breaks.
South Africa’s largest Internet service providers all form part of the WACS consortium, including Vodacom, Telkom (Openserve), Liquid Telecom, MTN, and Broadband Infraco.