Seacom CEO Mark Simpson has apologized for the outage on the cable system today (22 March 2013) which has impacted numerous broadband users in South Africa.
“Seacom recognises and acknowledges that it is a key provider of connectivity for most carriers and therefore a large number of consumers in Southern and Eastern Africa,” said Simpson.
“We regret and apologise for today’s outage that is impacting our customers and the ultimate users of our services in these countries.”
“During this outage we have, as we always endeavour to do, kept our customers and the wider user community informed by direct communications and through our website and social media platforms.”
Simpson said that services are beginning to come up now (Friday evening), and that they will continue to work to restore services through this evening.
“We also continue to work with our industry colleagues to provide potential solutions to customers on other impacted systems,” said Simpson.
Seacom provided the following summary of events which caused the outage:
At 05:56 GMT on 22nd March, SEACOM experienced a cable cut on its SEACOM cable system between Egypt and Europe.
We understand that several other cable systems (some of which SEACOM also utilises as part of its network) were also affected at the same time and went down on this same route through the Mediterranean, thereby affecting transmission bandwidth from Southern and Eastern Africa, the Middle East and Asia to Europe.
It is important to note that the affected route forms only one portion of the Seacom network. As a data network communications provider, Seacom offers an array of services over multiple subsea and terrestrial cable routes. While the Seacom cable system is a key component of this network it is not the only cable system or available route in the Seacom network.
For example, Seacom’s IP network is not down, as the Seacom cable system also directly connects Southern and Eastern Africa to Asia via India. Therefore, customers on Seacom’s IP Service are still able to connect to the Internet, although it should be noted that they are encountering some congestion due the fact that many service provider customers are routing as much additional traffic as possible via this link for restoration purposes.
The Seacom Network also has a considerable amount of capacity deployed on the WACS cable system that provides services and diversity to several large ISPs up the west coast of Africa to Europe.
We continue to invest in adding new routes and capacity to our network to improve diversity and resilience, especially for those customers utilising our IP Service.