A repair ship has been sent to fix the West African Cable System, which has broken down between the UK and Portugal. Picture: Twitter
A repair ship has been sent to fix the West African Cable System, which has broken down between the UK and Portugal. Picture: Twitter

Wacs undersea cable break: Slow internet could be back to capacity by 4 April

By Yasmine Jacobs Time of article published Mar 31, 2020

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Cape Town - South Africans can expect the slow internet to be working at its optimal speed by April 4. 

This comes as repair vessel Ile D’Aix has reached the site of the cable break of the West African Cable System (Wacs), said the South African National Research & Education Network (NREN).

"Unofficially, the Ile D'Aix' seems to have arrived at the cable grounds and is probably commencing with its Plan of Work activities," said SA NREN in a statement on Twitter.

In addition to doubling international bandwidth for SA NREN clients via the East Coast cable systems, NREN has activated an alternate path via SACS sub-sea cable btw Cape Town in South Africa and Fortaleza in Brazil with connectivity up to the AMPATH internet exchange point in Miami.

The project is the first-ever South Atlantic Research & Education network crossing between three continents. The initial connection is sized at 100Gbps, but can be upgraded as capacity per wavelength is improved.

Repairs to this break are currently underway and the estimated repair date is 2 April.

The outages have inconvenienced many who are trying to work from home after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown to stop further spread of coronavirus.

The breakage that happened on the March 28, as well as a second break along the South Atlantic Telecommunications (SAT-3) off shore Congo, has led to slow internet over the weekend.

The SAT-3 fault is located in a similar area to a previous break in January, which was apparently caused by a short circuit. 

The cable systems are deployed in the Atlantic Ocean, connecting SA and many other African countries to Europe.

For now it seems the break will affect only customers using Telkom's network locally.

IOL TECH

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