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No, it wasn’t just you, or because of the lockdown either. The internet across much of South Africa was slow this weekend thanks to yet another undersea cable break.
The WACS cable broke between the UK and Portugal this weekend, leaving much of the western portion of South Africa with longer load times and all-round slower internet during the initial days of the COVID-19 lockdown.
We are observing our WACS capacity as down since 23h28 UTC/27th March 2020. A call has been logged with our provider for feedback. Traffic has failed over to SEACOM and EASSy cable systems and there is currently no impact for SA NREN traffic.
— SA NREN Operational Updates & Alerts (@RENAlerts) March 28, 2020
While some ISPs routed traffic along Africa’s eastern coastline cables, this didn’t solve latency issues for many.
WACS Outage Update: Cable vessel, the "Ile D'Aix", underway to the SV8 (Highbridge UK) side cable break. ETA at cable ground – Tue 31/03/2020 09h00 UTC. Estimated repair date: Sat 04/04/2020. The approximate position of "Ile D'Aix" on its journey is as attached. pic.twitter.com/rY5YdOcq9s
— SA NREN Operational Updates & Alerts (@RENAlerts) March 30, 2020
Thankfully, a fix is on the way.
On Monday morning, RENAlerts announced that a vessel is on its way to perform repairs on the cable, located just off the coast of the UK.
The estimated repair date is 4 April.
The latest break comes after both the WACS and SAT-3 cables broke earlier this year, nearly crippling the country’s international internet access for more than two weeks.
Feature image: Andy Walker/Memeburn