A longer-than-planned interruption on the Sat-3 cable that connects with SA with Europe caused chaos on Thursday, with many Internet users unable to access international websites. The downtime is believed to have been responsible for long check-in delays at Johannesburg’s main airport, OR Tambo International.
A portion of the Sat-3 system remained offline at the time of writing. Traffic was being routed over the Safe cable to Asia.
It’s understood that other cable routes, notably a system in Spain, also went down briefly during the course of the day, leading to further connectivity problems. However, details are still sketchy.
All a Telkom spokesman will say in response to queries is that in preparation for planned work by the Sat-3 consortium, customers had been informed that there would be four to six hours of downtime on Thursday.
“While this preparatory work was being conducted between Accra [in Ghana] and Abidjan [in Côte d’Ivoire], failure in the branching units resulted in longer than anticipated downtime. These units are responsible for powering up the undersea cables.”
Telkom says 95% of the preparatory work had gone off without a hitch. But the system had then malfunctioned. Full service is expected to be restored sometime on Thursday night, the company says. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral