Undersea cable provider Seacom said on Monday it was still working on restoring transmission across the Mediterranean Sea after its telecommunications cable was damaged off the coast of Egypt. The outage has left thousands of customers without international data connectivity since Friday.
Multiple cable systems continued to be affected across Africa, the Middle East and Asia although “optimisation” of the internet protocol network had been completed to relieve congestion the company said.
The cause of the outage was a physical cable that was cut some kilometres north of the coast of Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea. CEO Mark Simpson said this was not likely to be known until the cable was repaired in the “coming week or two and the damaged section is recovered from the seabed and inspected”.However, the company suspects that the most likely cause is external aggression to the cable “most probably caused by a larger vessel dragging its anchor across the sea bed”.
“Unfortunately this remains a common cause of damage to cable systems globally, despite our continued efforts to protect the cable with armour, burying, notifications to ships of cable location and exclusion zones,” Mr Simpson said.
MWEB, which is one of the affected internet service providers, said SEACOM provided a significant portion of its international capacity.MWEB also has capacity on the West Africa Cable System (WACS) cable, which runs up the west coast of Africa. This cable can meet about 45% of MWEB’s total needs.
“As a result, most international services will be degraded. We are in ongoing discussions with various operators to secure additional capacity to meet our total requirements until such time as the Seacom cable is fully operational again,” MWEB said.