The Seacom submarine fibre-optic cable system should be back online by late next week after a repair ship arrived at the site of the fault in the Indian Ocean.
“The designated ship has been deployed to the location of the fault where it will proceed to locate the cable on the seabed,” a Seacom spokesman says.
“This will take place within an extended perimeter as the cable will have moved around the seabed from where the installation ship dropped it over a year ago.
“This is normal and caused by the natural sea-bed movements and strong submarine currents in that area.”
Once located with the help of cable station staff and specialised equipment, the cable will be picked up before being brought onboard the ship to undergo the necessary repair, the company says.
This will include cutting the cable to remove the affected portion, reviewing the physical integrity of the cable before proceeding with the initial splicing of the spare cable segment which has been be tested and prepared while in transit onboard the ship.
When the final splicing is completed, the entire system will be thoroughly tested before the cable is lowered back in the water.
Part of this process will entail the reconfiguration of the power supply to shut down and isolate the affected portion of the cable.
“Though the repair schedule remains on track, with a completion date estimated for the latter part of next week, a number of exogenous factors including location, water depth, currents and weather make this cable outage very difficult to repair,” Seacom says.
Most Internet service providers that were affected by the outage have secured bandwidth on other systems, including the Sat-3 cable along Africa’s west coast, while Seacom completes the repairs. — Staff reporter, TechCentral