African ISPs Routing Their Way Around the Broken Subsea Cables

Due to damage sustained by four significant subsea cables off the west coast of Africa last week, internet service providers providing the continent were compelled to route their data through complex route changes. As a result, the African ISPs routing their way around the broken subsea cables.

African ISPs Routing Their Way Around the Broken Subsea cables
African ISPs Routing Their Way Around the Broken Subsea cables

African ISPs Routing Their Way Around the Broken Subsea cables

One of the cable operators claims that some businesses are avoiding the wires by traveling through Brazil. Some have switched from overland transmission to a network of transnational terrestrial cables.

Following the failure of the Wacs, MainOne, Sat-3, and Ace Sea cables last week arteries for telecommunications data flowing along the coast. It’s a patchwork effort that has significantly eased connectivity issues for millions of consumers.

However, several countries now have slower internet speeds as a result of the rerouting, which occasionally uses lower-capacity connections.

According to consultant Roderick Beck, who sources network capacity for telecom customers, “repairing those four severed cables is the only way to get the African network back to the normal status quo.” “The majority of direct connectivity to most West African countries is provided by those cables.”

Although the exact source of the faults is unknown, seismic activity on the seabed may have caused an underwater landslide, according to a preliminary investigation by MainOne.

Restoring Connectivity Would Take Weeks According to Source

Restoring connectivity would take three to five weeks, according to the company’s assessment.

At least eight West African nations, including Nigeria, experienced widespread disruptions that were felt as far away as South Africa, which depends on the cables for international data transit.

The countries most impacted were Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Benin; these nations’ e-commerce, local money transfers, and international phone calls were all impacted.

Most of the connectivity had returned by Tuesday, but according to NetBlocks, “service quality remains diminished in some of the affected countries.”

Internet Services May Be Fully Restored if the Cables Were Fixed

The high-capacity Equiano cable, which likewise runs along the coast but only has direct connections to Togo, South Africa, and Nigeria, is where many businesses moved their traffic, according to Beck.

Others have resorted to Angola Cables, whose Sacs cable extends from Angola to Brazil, enabling the business to transmit data to the US and Europe, according to Samuel Carvalho, head of marketing for the company.

In a statement released on Monday, Nigeria’s National Communications Commission announced that phone and data services had been restored to “roughly 90% of their peak utilization capacities.”

Although internet services were “functional,” Ivory Coast’s Minister of Digital Economy Ibrahim Kalil Konate stated that capacity would not be fully restored until the cables were fixed, which he believed would be finished by early April.

Undersea Cable Problems are Being Investigated

A spokesman for Telkom said that the undersea cable problems are being investigated and fixed by Orange Marine’s Leon Thévenin, which sailed from Cape Town loaded with fiber-optic cable, and by cable repair company Global Marine’s CS Sovereign, which is currently docked in Portland, England.

Depending on the weather, one of the largest internet service providers in South Africa, Telkom, estimates that the repairs will take three weeks.

Orange Marine’s spokesman acknowledged the company would help with the repairs, but he did not elaborate. Global Marine’s representative declined to comment.



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