WACS cable outage resolved

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 06 Apr 2020

Repairs at submarine cable the West Africa Cable System (WACS) are complete.

This is according to the South African National Research & Education Network (SA NREN), a major user of the cable, which first reported the undersea cable’s outage on 27 March.

In latest tweets, SA NREN says: “WACS Outage Update: We have had final confirmation that the WACS repairs are complete and everything is according to specification. This matter is now resolved from an SA NREN perspective.”

The outage of the cable resulted in South Africans experiencing slow Internet speeds at a time demand was high as more people are working and learning from home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This resulted in fellow cable operator Seacom carrying additional traffic on its network. This, as local Internet service providers put in place contingency measures to mitigate the slow speeds.

WACS is a submarine communications cable linking SA with the UK along the west coast of Africa that was constructed by Alcatel-Lucent.

The cable consists of four fibre pairs and is 14 530km in length, linking from Yzerfontein in the Western Cape of SA to London in the UK.

In January, WACS also suffered a cable break together with the SAT3/WASC cable, resulting in slow Internet speeds in SA.

Last week, ITWeb reported that a vessel was on its way to fix the WACS cable with full restoration expected by 4 April.

On 3 April, SA NREN tweeted: “We are seeing recovery of the SA NREN WACS links as of 07h13 UTC+2 this morning. We are hoping that this is the permanent recovery.”

It said later: “Post-recovery checks are being conducted and therefore the connectivity may be interrupted briefly at times. We are awaiting final clearance that all is well.”