Seacom services between Africa and Europe went offline again on Thursday after fresh cable breaks in Egypt cut off African Internet users in East Africa and Southern Africa.
It’s the second time in a week that terrestrial cable breaks in Egypt have disrupted the Seacom route. Seacom connects South Africa and countries along Africa’s eastern shoreline with continental Europe. The system also has a spur to India.
In a statement dated 9.45am South African time, Seacom said it was experiencing a “critical outage” that meant its services had been unavailable since 8am South African time.
“Seacom is experiencing multiple outages on the terrestrial network across Egypt. All our international connectivity through Egypt has been affected…”
It said repair teams are already on site. “Seacom continues to monitor the situation closely and will provide necessary updates.”
Exactly a week ago, on 21 January, multiple cable faults, one in the UK affecting the West Africa Cable System and two in Egypt affecting Seacom, left millions of consumers with degraded or even nonexistent Internet access.
Seacom told TechCentral last week that the twin faults in Egypt, one on the Northern Trans-Egypt route between Cairo and Alexandria and the other on the Southern Trans-Egypt route on the outskirts of Cairo, knocked out its connectivity between Africa and Europe.
Both events were caused by civil construction activity and were not acts of sabotage.
Services were restored after two hours and 40 minutes.
“With the west coast experiencing an outage at the same time, international connectivity at many of these service providers failed or was degraded while we worked to repair the faults in Egypt,” Seacom said.
“It was coincidental that an outage on a terrestrial link in the UK, which connects the West Africa Cable System or Wacs landing station there with a data centre in London, led to downtime along that route.”
Update 1: Seacom said at 10.45am that two cuts to cables in Egypt have been located and teams are on site repairing the cable. The estimated time to restoration of services is between two and three hours.
Update 2: All services were restored at 12.08pm — (c) 2016 NewsCentral Media