A problem on the Seacom submarine cable system caused extensive downtime for SA Internet users on Monday. The bad news it could be a week or even more before the system is restored.
“While the repair process itself will only take a few hours, the overall process may last a minimum of 6-8 days,” Seacom says in statement issued on Monday evening.
“The actual duration is unpredictable due to external factors such as transit time of the ship, weather conditions and time to locate the cable. For this reason, the estimated duration of this repair remains uncertain.”
The fault, between Mumbai in India and Mombasa in Kenya, occurred at 11.19am SA time on 5 July.
“Investigations indicate that a repeater has failed on segment nine of the Seacom cable, which is offshore to the north of Mombasa. This unexpected failure affects traffic towards both India and Europe. Traffic within Africa is not affected,” Seacom says.
Seacom has initiated emergency repair procedures to replace the repeater. Once mobilised, the repair ship is deployed to the location of the fault to pick up the cable. The cable is then brought on board to undergo the repair. The faulty element is replaced with a new repeater before being put back in the water.
Seacom says it is working with partners to ensure Internet traffic is routed along alternative systems like Sat-3.
Once new cables systems such as the East African Submarine System, the West African Cable System and the Africa Coast to Europe cable come on stream over the next 18 months, disruptions like this one should become less commonplace as cable operators and telecommunications companies will be able to reroute traffic along other cables. — Staff reporter, TechCentral