MWeb desperate for Seacom solution - TechCentral

MWeb desperate for Seacom solution

Internet service provider MWeb, part of JSE-listed media group Naspers, is urgently seeking an alternative solution for its broadband customers following the break in the Seacom cable, which could take a week or more to repair.

MWeb says it uses Seacom as its primary provider of international bandwidth, with a limited amount of redundancy available via the Sat-3 cable running along Africa’s west coast.

As an interim measure MWeb says it was able to secure alternative capacity on Telkom’s Saix network from 5pm on Monday until 2pm on Tuesday. At that time, however, Telkom withdrew the capacity due to concerns over the bandwidth commitments it has made to Fifa for the soccer World Cup.

“MWeb is in urgent and ongoing discussions with a number of providers to obtain alternative bandwidth until such time as the Seacom capacity has been fully restored,” the company says. “We are hopeful to have some relief during the course of this evening. In the interim, local Internet traffic, including browsing, e-mail and Internet banking, is unaffected.”

Seacom has blamed the problems on a cut in its cable off the coast of Mombasa, Kenya. The failure occurred at about 11am on Monday. The cable operator has initiated emergency repair procedures, sending a repair ship to the location of the break.  — Staff reporter, TechCentral


  1. Anonymous Coward on

    MWeb and the others [getting bandwidth via SEACOM] should have, in hindsight, procured alternative means of connectivity after the first major SEACOM issue.

    But they didn’t and now they’re caught between a rock and hard place.

    On another note, as parody mind, it can be imagined that there is a ship under telkom control prowling the east coast, and dinging up the SEACOM cable when telkom start to lose revenue (and customers)…. [PARODY ALERT]

  2. The need to diversify is strong. The need to have alternatives sources to international bandwidth is imperative. I am with AfriHost and I am being forced to rethink my loyalty to their service. Whilst it is not their fault (or maybe it is if one considers the above parody?), it is becoming increasingly frustrating to be cut off from the internet.

    Will the ISP’s dependent on SEACOM rethink their strategy when EASSY lands and becomes commercially available to them. I hope so.

  3. I have absolutely no sympathy for ISP’s who are blaming their issues on SEACOM.

    The backup circuits they are using should be able to cope, the problem is those things cost money so the ‘highly unlikely event’ that they’ll need to use them to that degree causes them to reduce the capacity they purchase.

    Unfortunate as it sounds ‘highly unlikely’ is a recipe for disaster.

  4. Everyone was quick to jump on the uncapped bandwagon with MWEB when they announced the service – cheap fast unlimited bandwidth. Have none of these people heard the saying “you get what you pay for”? Now stop the bitching and live with what you so happily embraced.

  5. Realistically, ISPs cannot provide an uncapped service at 500 bucks a month with redundancy. You get what you pay for, its that simple.

    There are no cables that Seacom can use as backup until Eassy, Ace and WACS lands. Then they will cross-sell/protect eachothers cables with bilateral agreements. Thats great in June 2011!

    ISP’s cannot afford to have enough spare capacity and keep the prices competitive/artificially low as there are only two cable systems. When there are more, you will see more redundancy come online, till then, its a fight with Telkom owned monopoly of SAT3/SAFE and Seacom.

    @Brett, would you willingly have paid 30-50% more for your internet access knowing that it was more redundant BEFORE these outages? Its easy in hindsight to commit to paying a higher price, but would you have before? Most people probably wouldnt have…

  6. Joe Average on

    The US military built the Internet to withstand a nuclear attack, the was the whole idea – a redundant network, the geniuses at MWEB decided they knew better and now they have a network that can’t withstand a hit from a ships anchor. Morons.

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