SA internet update: Repair ship departure pushed to Wednesday evening, says Openserve

Business Insider SA
Source: Marine Traffic
Source: Marine Traffic
  • The expected time of departure of the Leon Thevenin has been pushed back to Wednesday 22 January at 6pm.
  • We now know the repair ship is commissioned to fix both undersea cables that broke and brought about SA’s slow internet last Thursday. 
  • The vessel is expected to travel to the break at Sat-3/Wasc first, because it has been commissioned to be repaired first.
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage

The expected time of departure of the Leon Thevenin has been have been pushed back to Wednesday 22 January at 6pm, according to South African National Research and Education Network (SA NREN). 

We now also know that the Leon Thevenin  has also been tasked with repairing both underseas cables (the West Africa Cable System (Wacs) and the South Atlantic 3/West Africa (SAT-3/Wasc)) which went down in the early hours of last Thursday, 16 January 2020, Openserve confirmed in an update this afternoon. 

Openserve said work will begin first on the Sat-3/Wasc undersea cable as it was the first of the consortiums to hand over the repair operation to the ships Chief of Mission and crew.

"The Leon Thevinin is a fit-for-purpose undersea cable deployment and maintenance vessel that is staffed with highly skilled technical personnel suitable for the most efficient restoration of both cable systems," said the company in a statement. 

Read more: Still no end in sight, Openserve admits, as cable repair ship gets ready to leave Cape Town

24 hours ago, on Monday, the Leon Thevenin docked at a cable depot quay. By around 6pm loading of supplies for the repair mission had commenced. 

"We have had confirmation this morning, from the Chief of Mission aboard the vessel, that this process is running optimally at the moment with submarine-rated optic fibre cable, repeaters, all test gear and jointing kits being loaded," reported Openserve

A travel plan with detailed departure and arrival times will only be provided once loading is completed.  

Openserve also announced that it has concluded commercial deals with other undersea cable consortiums to activate additional international connectivity capacity. This is in addition to the activation of spare capacity on Openserve’s own equity along its Indian Ocean-based undersea cables.

*Business Insider South Africa previously reported an initial estimation of port departure today, but this has been pushed back. 

Once the cable repair ship leaves Cape Town, it could take as long as 6 days to reach the broken cable. 

At the time of publishing, Leon Thevenin remains unmoved, live data from shows. We will continue to update its progress as we see it. 

*This is a developing story.

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