Two key undersea cables that connect South Africa to the global internet have both failed in separate incidents.
Business Insider reports that this freak occurrence has left many internet users with a slow connection since Thursday. According to their article: “The South Atlantic 3/West Africa submarine cable, which links Portugal and Spain to South Africa, with connections to several West African countries along the way, has been hit by a breakdown near Libreville, Gabon, internet service provider Axxess reported this morning”. IOL reports that this is “a unit of South Africa’s biggest fixed-line telecommunications provider, Telkom SA SOC Ltd,” although many other service providers have also reported connection issues.
According to The South African, “The West Africa Cable System is the other faulty system. It connects South Africa with the United Kingdom and several coastal African nations.”
Reports suggest that many businesses in some countries are unable to send emails or make cross-country phone calls as a result of connectivity issues. Afrihost, one of South Africa’s Internet Service Providers, said in a tweet that “further tests are being conducted by the upstream provider. Updates to follow”. Because the cables lay so deep underwater, it is unclear when they will be repaired to restore full connectivity.