South Africans frustrated as internet cable repairs delayed

Damage to the West African Cable System (WACS) and the South Atlantic 3 (WASC/SAT3) sub-marine cable are causing South Africans to pull out their hair in frustration.

The cables have been broken since last week with WACS and WASC/SAT3 going down on Thursday. The South African National Research and Education Network (SA NREN) then reported another break in the WACS cable on Friday near the UK.

While repairs have been commissioned, it appears to be a rather slow process.

Business Insider South Africa reports that the ship scheduled to transport the WACS repair team – the Leon Thevenin – has been docked at a cable depot quay since Monday afternoon but will leave the harbour later today.

“The cable vessel is still alongside the cable depot quay. We have not received any indication as yet as to when it will be departing up the west coast,” SA NREN said in an update on Tuesday morning.

This follows delays at the weekend caused by strong winds at Cape Town harbour.

While the Leon Thevenin is awaiting departure, South Africans affected by the cable breaks shouldn’t expect service to return to normal anytime soon. Reports state that it will take the vessel six days to arrive at the break.

SA NREN believes the fault to be between repeaters R05003(S1I-R1I03) and R05004(S1I-R1I04) near the Congo.

You can check the position of the Leon Thevenin via the Marine Traffic website here.

Openserve is liaising with the consortium’s responsible for the WACS and WASC/SAT3 cables and we recommend following its social channels – particularly Twitter – for updates.


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