The Léon Thévenin cable-laying vessel docked in the Port of Cape Town.
Four undersea cables that are crucial for providing internet services to Africa snapped off the coast of the Congo on 6 August, not just two cables as has been widely reported. Last month, it was reported that the West Africa Cable System (WACS) and the South Atlantic 3 (SAT-3) cables snapped due to a rockfall in the Congo Canyon, causing internet issues in South Africa. But Vodacom and Bayobab, the infrastructure unit of MTN that was formerly MTN GlobalConnect, confirmed that the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) subsea cable also snapped at around the same time and was being repaired.
Hundreds of thousands of kilometers of thin fiber-optic cables run under the sea and are crucial to the functioning of the internet. The cables enable the rapid transfer of information across long distances. The WACS, SAT-3, and ACE cables are among those on the west coast of the continent which connect South Africa to the rest of the world.
Openserve, MTN, Vodacom, and Cloudflare reported disruptions to their networks directly after the breaks, which the companies took steps to mitigate by re-routing traffic onto other cables. Repair work was completed on the WACS cable on 5 September, and the ACE cable repair is currently underway. The SAT-3 cable will be repaired after the ACE cable.
The repair vessel Léon Thévenin is stationed at the ACE repair cable grounds, and teams are working diligently to restore the cable systems. The repair work is critical for international data transmission and connectivity across multiple regions.
Overall, the undersea cable breaks have caused internet issues in Africa, and repair efforts are underway to restore connectivity.
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