Another Undersea Cable Cut Hits Africa

An undersea cable damage off the African coast has led to significant disruptions in internet services, particularly impacting customers in Mauritius and Reunion.

Another Undersea Cable Cut Hits Africa
Another Undersea Cable Cut Hits Africa

The damage to the South Africa-Far East (Safe) cable, which serves as a critical link between these islands and South Africa, India, and Malaysia, underscores the vulnerability of vital communications infrastructure.

Efforts to Repair the Safe Cable Underway

Mauritius Telecom, based in Port Louis, has initiated efforts to repair the damaged Safe cable, which has adversely affected internet connectivity to the islands.

The disruption has had far-reaching consequences, with businesses and financial institutions experiencing service outages, including SBM Bank (Mauritius), which reported temporary unavailability of its ATMs and point-of-sale terminals due to the technical issues with the internet gateway.

The recent break in the Safe cable highlights the vulnerability of critical communications infrastructure, especially undersea cables that serve as lifelines for internet connectivity.

This incident comes amidst ongoing challenges caused by damaged cables off the continent’s west coast and in the Red Sea, exacerbating disruptions and underscoring the importance of robust contingency plans for such eventualities.

Challenges in Repairing Damaged Cables

Repair efforts have been hampered by logistical challenges and bureaucratic hurdles, as seen in the delays faced by the repair of cables damaged near Ivory Coast and Yemen.

The complexity of working in underwater environments, compounded by geopolitical factors, has prolonged the restoration process, leaving affected regions grappling with prolonged service outages.

The damaged Safe fiber cable, spanning 13,500 kilometers, serves as a critical artery for Mauritius, an island nation heavily reliant on financial services and tourism.

The disruption has not only impacted local operators but also affected international connectivity, necessitating the redirection of internet traffic to alternative submarine cables to mitigate the impact on businesses and consumers.

Collaborative Efforts for Restoration

Mauritius Telecom, along with other consortium members including Vodafone Group and Orange, is working diligently to restore services and minimize the impact on customers.

However, the cause of the cable damage is yet to be determined, underscoring the need for enhanced resilience and proactive measures to safeguard against future disruptions.

The incident serves as a stark reminder of the critical role that undersea cables play in global connectivity and the urgent need to invest in resilience measures to mitigate risks.

As efforts continue to repair the damaged Safe cable, stakeholders must collaborate closely to ensure swift restoration of services and bolster the resilience of communications infrastructure against future disruptions.



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