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Eassy cable damaged

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Undersea broadband cable Eassy, which connects countries along Eastern Africa to high-speed Internet, has been damaged, resulting in minor service disruption.

The 10 000km cable, stretching from Sudan to SA, experienced a cut between Djibouti and Port Sudan, according to Chris Wood, chief executive of West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC), the largest shareholder in Eassy with a 30% stake.

He further says the fault has only resulted in minimal disruption owing to Eassy's collapsed ring protection system that allows for internal re-routing of traffic.

A WIOCC representative further told ITWeb that the company is currently not in a position to give an exact date for when the repair of the fault is to be completed

“The only services affected are those either originating or terminating in Port Sudan, or those using Port Sudan to connect to other systems for transit to Europe.

“As the vast majority of Eassy's traffic exits through Djibouti, most customers have not felt the impact of the cut to Eassy,” Wood adds.

Africa's growing number of undersea cables means incidents of service disruptions, especially as a result of ships dropping anchors on cables, are increasing.

Two years ago, Africa's Seacom undersea cable, which also connects the east coast of Africa, experienced a similar cut that took almost three weeks to repair.

With more undersea broadband cables connecting Africa having come online, such as the West Africa Cable System, businesses that rely on the networks say they are mitigating service disruption risks by using a number of different cables.

Graham Beneke, systems engineer at Neology, wholesale bandwidth provider to ISPs in Africa, says the latest Eassy cut has not really affected his company's operations. “We have capacity on all the other undersea cables as well.

“By having one cable running up the east coast, and by having one cable running up the west coast, the same ship is unlikely to cause a fault on both cables simultaneously,” he adds.

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