Failed undersea cables leave SA with slow internet, no Twitter

Picture: iStock

A ship is reportedly being loaded and will be dispatched to deal with both breaks over the weekend.

Thanks to two unrelated breaks at the sites of two key undersea cables that connect South Africa to the global internet, some South Africans have had to contend with very slow internet speeds over the last few days.

Business Insider reports that the South Atlantic 3/West Africa (SAT-3/Wasc) submarine cable, which links Portugal and Spain to South Africa, with connections to several West African countries along the way, has been hit by a breakdown near Libreville, Gabon.

In addition, the system which links South Africa with the United Kingdom also saw an outage off the coast of Congo in recent days.

“The unusual and simultaneous dual cable break has resulted in customers, that are connected to Openserve’s global capacity clients, experiencing reduced speed on international browsing. International voice calling and mobile roaming has also been impacted,” Openserve said in a statement on Thursday.

The company, who is said to have made “its resources” available to both undersea cable consortiums to assist wherever possible, added; “Openserve appreciates the patience of all affected clients and their customers as undersea cable infrastructure repairs are complex and can be time-consuming.”

As a result of these developments, Internet service provider Afrihost told users that connections are being re-routed with no estimate on when normal service would resume.

A ship is reportedly being loaded and will be dispatched to deal with both breaks over the weekend.

While many had been complaining about slow internet speeds and a lag in the Twitter website and app, by Saturday morning, Twitter was completely unavailable for most South Africans.

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(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho) 

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