South Africa’s international internet connectivity fully restored

 ·19 Feb 2020

Openserve says that South Africa’s international internet connectivity has been fully restored having received confirmation, from aboard cable ship Leon Thevenin, that the portion of the SAT3/WASC repair offshore Congo has now been completed.

“This concludes a long and complex restoration process of an unprecedented simultaneous cable break of two Atlantic Ocean based submarine cable systems – the South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT3/WASC) and the West African Cable System (WACS),” it said in a statement on Wednesday (19 February).

This break, that caused South African internet users reduced speed on international browsing and impacted international voice calling and mobile roaming, occurred more than a month ago, on 16 January 2020.

“South Africans can now breathe a sigh of relief as international connectivity capacity returns to normal,” Openserve said.

The Maintenance and Operations Sub-Committees of both cable consortia had tasked their respective restoration processes to a single Chief of Mission on the Leon Thevinin.

The vessel departed Cape Town Harbour on the evening of Wednesday, 22 January, and has been out on open water effecting the repair processes, at multiple break locations, since.

The ship will now proceed to its next location, offshore Ghana, to undertake a power-related (shunt fault) repair on the WACS cable, Openserve said.

“This fault is not affecting traffic on WACS. If conditions allow, the entire mission is still set to be completed around 25 February with the vessel returning to dock in Cape Town,” the fibre provider said.

As part of its internal close-out procedure the relevant teams in Openserve said it will, over the next few weeks, analyse the full impact of this unusual dual break on its international connectivity capacity.

“This exercise will be conducted with a view to minimising, and possibly mitigating, the impact on the South African broadband eco-system should the country find itself dealing with a similar catastrophic event in future,” it said.

Read: South Africa’s slow internet: repairs underway

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