Fibre-optic cables that were damaged by a rockfall in an undersea canyon, resulting in slow internet connections in South Africa, should be repaired next month by a specialised vessel, according to telecommunications companies.
The West Africa Cable System (Wacs) that runs about 16 000km along the sea floor from Europe to South Africa was damaged with other cables earlier this month.
The 40-year-old cable-layer vessel Léon Thévenin, named after a French telegraph engineer, was moored in Cape Town this week, according to tracking data. It’s capable of working in extreme conditions and in shallow or deep water, according to owner Orange Marine, a submarine telecoms company.
All South African networks are experiencing disruptions due to the damaged cables, said Anne-Caroline Tanguy, a spokeswoman at Cloudflare, a company that provides load balancing and analysis. The repairs are expected to be finished in September.
The Léon Thévenin headed to Cape Town from another break repair in order to load equipment that’s needed, said Mooketsi Mocumi, a spokesman for Telkom. He said the timeline for finishing repairs depends on variables including weather conditions. — (c) 2023 Bloomberg LP