Simultaneous undersea cable breaks predicted to cause internet disruptions in South Africa
On August 6, 2023, two undersea cables were severed simultaneously, resulting in internet disturbances in South Africa.
Two important undersea communication cables, crucial for network operators in South Africa, were damaged on the same day. This has led to disruptions in internet service, causing some websites to load slowly or not at all. The West Africa Cable System (WACS) and the South Atlantic Telecommunications Cable number three (SAT-3) suffered breaks on 6 August near the Congo Canyon. This breakage was believed to be caused by a rockfall in the canyon. Openserve has confirmed the cable breaks and stated that a consortium of partners is currently working on restoring the cables.
An unexpected incident has caused disruptions to internet services, leading to potential website access delays. Openserve, an infrastructure provider in South Africa, has confirmed that there have been breaks in underwater fiber optic cables. A consortium of partners is working together to repair and restore these cables. These underwater cables, which often go unnoticed, play a crucial role in enabling the fast transmission of telecommunications signals across the globe.
Cloudflare, a major internet network operator, has detected significant performance drops due to these cable breaks. Cloudflare’s head of data insight, David Belson, reported performance issues in Johannesburg. The cable breaks have led to capacity constraints and increased traffic on all South African networks. According to Belson, managing and mitigating this surge in traffic requires time and effort.