The nightmare of low-speed internet for Capetonians will finally be over on Tuesday, if the weather in the Atlantic holds. FILE PHOTO: Reuters
The nightmare of low-speed internet for Capetonians will finally be over on Tuesday, if the weather in the Atlantic holds. FILE PHOTO: Reuters

Low-speed internet ordeal coming to end

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Feb 18, 2020

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Cape Town - The nightmare of low-speed internet for Capetonians will finally be over on Tuesday, if the weather in the Atlantic holds.

Three breaks occurred on the two undersea cables along the African west coast and close to the UK on January 16. Two of the breaks, one of which was fixed, were on the West Africa Cable System (Wacs) line and one on the South Atlantic 3 (Sat-3) cable, and affected much of sub-Saharan Africa, causing internet outages and slow speeds, particularly to international websites.

The South African National Research and Education Network has been tracking and posting updates about the status of the vessel and, according to their tweets about the Sat-3 break in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): “Construction of the first intermediate joint is under way. Unfortunately there have been splicing delays and additional time is required for the preparation for the jointing of the mini-system. The expected time of repair was moved to February 18.”

Vice-president, sales Africa, at the European Satellite Society Networks, Carole Kamaitha, said: “SES cannot comment on how long it will take for the repairs as there are many factors such as the weather.

“That said, SES along with long-standing partner Gilat Telecom, were able to restore high-performance internet connectivity in the DRC within just four days after the Wacs undersea cable cut,” said Kamaitha.

The repair mission was made necessary by heavy rains in the DRC, which caused the Congo River to overflow last month, sending heavy sediment into the sea and causing the cable to short-circuit.

Poor weather in Cape Town initially delayed the setting out of cable repair ship Leon Thevenin. Then Storm Dennis in the UK prevented it from reacting as quickly as it would have.

@MwangiGithahu

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Cape Argus

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