Internet service outages in Africa caused by problems with the Seacom subsea cable could continue for another two weeks and cost millions of dollars to repair, the firm says.
The cable, which links Africa with Europe via India, has been knocked out by a faulty repeater, resulting in loss of service for international users, and severe bandwidth restrictions for some of Seacom’s customers, Africa’s Business Report said.
The South African Internet Exchange has been forced to withdraw capacity from ISPs including MWeb in order to preserve enough bandwidth to deliver World Cup services, while corporate ISP Internet Solutions said it has been forced to reroute capacity through Telkom's SAT-3 cable, but said this only provides enough bandwidth after peak hours.
More of Africa's traffic has been rerouted to links including the East African Marine System's cables.
Internet provider Axxess complained to My Broadband that the outage has brought the international connectivity of its Internet Solutions-based accounts to a standstill, while FNB Connect, Openweb and Afrihost also warned of disruptions.
Seacom says it will take at least until Sunday to fix the repeater, but that it could take a further two weeks to locate the source of the fault.
Repairs are likely to be “hugely expensive,” a Seacom representative told Business Report. “I would put it at several million dollars,” he said.
In April, an outage on the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable disrupted services in the UAE for over a week.