Seacom suffers internet outage off African coast
Undersea cable provider Seacom has experienced a number of cable cuts off the northern coast of Egypt, which is affecting internet connectivity in Africa, Middle East and Asia, the company said in a statement on Friday morning.
“Multiple subsea cable cuts have been confirmed off the northern coast of Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea, which are impacting a number of cable systems in Africa, Middle East and Asia connecting to Europe,” Seacom said.
While the interruptions might continue for an undetermined time, the company is in the process of repairing the damage. “SEACOM is currently working to establish restoration options on alternative capacity across the Mediterranean Sea and also by adding further IP capacity in Asia.
“It is expected that it will take some hours to confirm options and arrange network re-routing. Seacom will contact customers directly to discuss restoration options,” they said in a statement posted on their website.
Soon after the initial announcement, Seacom released another statement saying that they have identified the problem. “SEACOM has identified restoration solutions and providers and is in the process of re-configuring the network and services to restore circuits. Definitive timing is not yet available, however we are targeting restoration within 12 hours or less. Communications to customers on their specific requirements are underway. We will update further within the hour,” it said.
Earlier this month, Seacom selected Ciena Corporation’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform and OneControl Unified Management System for the upgrading of its submarine network across the Southern and Eastern African coastlines. That fell in line with Seacom’s focus on driving the development of the African internet and opening the broadband tap for African consumers.
This is not the first time that Seacom has been affected by undersea cable cuts - it suffered a similar outage in September last year. “SEACOM’s customers are currently experiencing a service affecting outage due to simultaneous fibre cuts on both South African backhaul providers’ networks,” it said at the time.
* For the latest update on the Seacom cable, which might only be repaired by 5 April, click here.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor