Update on SA's slow internet: Cable repair boat still stuck in Cape Town, companies resort to crisis measures.

Business Insider SA
  • South Africans continue to struggle with slow internet after two undersea cables broke last week.  
  • The Leon Thevenin, the repair ship meant to fix the undersea cables, has been stuck in Cape Town harbour thanks to strong winds.
  • So far Afrihost, Axxess and Webafrica have given up waiting and have purchased additional international bandwidth.  
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.

While South Africans continue with slow internet speeds, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have given up waiting for the repairs on two broken undersea cables and begun purchasing alternative bandwidth.

Both the South Atlantic 3/West Africa (SAT-3/Wasc) submarine cable (which links Portugal and Spain to South Africa) and the West Africa Cable System (Wacs) (which links South Africa with the United Kingdom) experienced breaks, in what appears at present to have been a freak coincidence.

See also: Slow internet set to continue in SA after another breakdown in an undersea cable - this time near the UK

This affects ISPs which use the lines to bring South Africa fast internet. Customers of Telkom's Openserve are among those affected, including Axxess, Mind the Gap, Afrihost and WebAfrica. On Saturday Twitter was also down.

You can blame Cape Town for the delays. Strong winds of 30km/h with gusts that have reached 80km/h have blocked the Leon Thevenin, the repair ship meant to fix the problem, from leaving Cape Town harbour. Mobilisation of the ship will only take place after instruction is given by the Harbour Master.

Marine Traffic tracking data shows the ship is yet to leave.

Who is affected:

Exactly how long repairs will take – with or without a windy Cape Town – is not yet clear. In the meantime some ISPs have given up waiting for the repairs.

Afrihost announced at 7pm last night that it had bought additional international bandwidth on other undersea cables to restore internet services to as close to normal as possible.

Likewise, Axxess announced at 9am this morning it too would be purchasing additional bandwidth.

In a response to questions Webafrica said they had procured additional capacity on Seacom which was delivered and brought live on Sunday night. They are waiting for further capacity via Angola cable systems which is expected Monday or Tuesday.

We have reached out to other ISPs to see if they too will be making arrangements.

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