Slow internet? A SEACOM cable fault is being repaired

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Internet users in Johannesburg and Durban experiencing an intermittent connection will need to wait for SEACOM to repair an undersea cable for a fix.

The fault was brought to our attention in an email sent to customers by Cybersmart. The intermittence is at 1 second at the moment which is reasonably low. A repair vessel has been dispatched to fix the fault.

Now for the some bad news.

The SEACOM connection between Mtunzini in Durban and Marseille in the France will be offline from 19th to 28th October while the fault is repaired. This might mean an increase in intermittence in Johannesburg and Durban.

“While there is no impact on Lightspeed and Cybersmart customers the network will be “at risk” during this time frame,” said Cybersmart in an email.

SEACOM said,”The impact of the incident is that all Transmission traffic on the East Coast of Africa to and from Europe will be affected. Customers with IP services will remain unaffected but could experience higher latencies with possible degradation of service, as traffic will predominantly be routed via WACS and SEACOM’s network to the Asia gateways.

The fault appears to be a shunt fault which happens when the insulation around an undersea cable becomes damaged and a short circuit between the metallic core and the sea water occurs.

SEACOM has said that the repair window is largely dependent on favourable weather and sea conditions and as such the period may vary.

[Image – CC BY/2.0 Armando Alves]

//Updated 18/10

The original version of this article stated that details about the SEACOM outage came from the ISP Crystal Web. This is incorrect and the article has been updated to reflect the fact that initial communication was sent out by Cybersmart. Apologies for any confusion caused.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.