Multiple cable faults on Thursday, one in the UK and two in Egypt, which affected the services of two major subsea cable systems that connect South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa to the global Internet, left millions of mobile and fixed-line Internet users across the region frustrated.
Now more details have emerged about what happened, at least with the Seacom route.
Seacom confirmed to TechCentral on Friday that twin faults in Egypt, one on the Northern Trans-Egypt route between Cairo and Alexandria and the other on the Southern Trans-Egypt route on the outskirts of Cairo, knocked out its connectivity between Africa and Europe.
Both events were caused by civil construction activity and were not acts of sabotage.
“During the two hours and 40 minutes that Seacom experienced a dual failure across Egypt, we were able to route Internet traffic through India,” the company explained.
“However, many operators in Africa use a basic transmission service that links directly to Europe and they use the west coast cable as a backup,” it said.
“With the west coast experiencing an outage at the same time, international connectivity at many of these service providers failed or was degraded while we worked to repair the faults in Egypt.”
It was coincidental that an outage on a terrestrial link in the UK, which connects the West Africa Cable System or Wacs landing station there with a data centre in London, led to downtime along that route. The fault affecting Wacs was fixed at 10.32pm on Thursday. — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media