The West African Cable System (Wacs) has suffered another break — at the worst possible time for South Africa, with many people now relying on home broadband connections to work during a three-week national lockdown.
According to a tweet by tertiary education and research network Tenet — which is a large user of Wacs bandwidth — the break happened at 11.28pm UTC on Friday (1.28am South African time on Saturday).
“A call has been logged with our provider for feedback. Traffic has failed over to Seacom and Eassy cable systems…,” Tenet said in a tweet. Seacom and Eassy are alternative subsea systems that run up Africa’s east coast.
A earlier break on the smaller-capacity Sat-3 cable, which follows a similar route to Wacs along Africa’s west coast to Europe, has compounded the outage to some degree. The Sat-3 break is only likely to be fixed next week.
With the WACS and continued SAT-3 outages on the East Coast, SA NREN users working from home during the #Covid19SA #LockdownSA may experience issues if their home providers do not have sufficient capacity via alternate sub-sea cable systems.
— SA NREN Operational Updates & Alerts (@RENAlerts) March 28, 2020
According to a subsequent tweet from Tenet on Saturday morning, the cut on the Wacs cable appears to be between Highbridge in the UK and Seixal in Portugal.
Internet users hoping for a quick resolution may be disappointed — if history is any indication.
It took more than a month to fix cable breaks on Wacs and Sat-3 earlier this year that led to slow international connections for many South African and African Internet users. — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media
- This is a developing story