Latest: West Africa Cable System (WACS) Failure

Latest: West Africa Cable System (WACS) Failure

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The cable laying ship Leon Thevenin its on her way to Luanda, Angola. For those interested you can check the ship’s progress here; go to Marine Traffic.

Although the question on everyone’s lips is “When will it be fixed”, there is no way of knowing the date when the cables will be repaired.There are many factors to consider; when the ship sets sail, weather conditions at the cable-break location and conditions on the seabed, as well as getting all the permits in order.

It is still not clear what caused the disruption.

Whilst in Botswana upstream providers have re-routed traffic to other carriers like Seacom and Eassy fibre links, Africa’s largest mobile operator, MTN, said it has begun to restore traffic through other channels and will continue to find optional routes of connectivity until the situation is resolved.

Telkom SA has also been liaising with the West Africa Cable System and the South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable consortia to find a solution.

Suveer Ramdhani, chief strategy officer at Seacom, which was launched in 2009, said there are many reasons why cables break — from sharks chewing on cables to cables being disrupted by boat anchors; trawling by fishing vessels; natural disasters such as earthquakes and various forms of accidental damage.

“Fibre breaks heavily affect local internet service providers’ operations and it is these guys that take the most heat as they face the end users. However, it is completely out of their control,” Ramdhani said.

Cable repair ship, Leon Thevenin, has left the Cape Town harbour to go in search of the problem. You can map its progress by visiting Marine Traffic.

We will post further updates as they become available.

OPQ Team.




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