Internet Disruptions Will Persist For 3 Weeks – MainOne

Internet users and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) based business operators across Africa may have to endure up to three more weeks of poor services, Africa Today News, New York has gathered.

It was earlier reported that the disruptions were sparked by a cut on the submarine cable system in the Atlantic Ocean offshore Cote D’Ivoire, along the coast of West Africa on Thursday, leaving many business transactions in hiccups.

The industries most impacted are banks, cable companies, publishing houses, and telecom corporations.

One of the undersea cable companies affected by the service disruptions, MainOne, said yesterday that the situation might persist for two to three weeks for the problem to be fixed.

In a note shared with The Nation, the cable company said investigations revealed that the fault came from an external incident that resulted in a cut on the submarine cable system in the ocean.

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MainOne, which has a maintenance agreement with Atlantic Cable Maintenance and Repair Agreement (ACMA) to provide repair services for the submarine cable, said the rectification of the fault involves identifying and assigning a vessel to “retrieve the necessary spares required for repair, and then sail to the fault location to conduct the repair work.”

The affected section of the submarine cable will subsequently “be pulled from the seabed onto the ship where it will be spliced by skilled technicians.”

It added: “Post-repair joints will be inspected and tested for any defects and then the submarine cable is lowered back to the seabed and guided to a good position.

“This process might take one to two weeks for repairs while about two to three weeks of transit time may be required for the vessel to pick up the spares and travel from Europe to West Africa once the vessel is mobilised.”

On what could have specifically caused the outage, the company said most submarine cable faults result from human activities such as fishing and anchoring in shallow waters near shore, natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, and equipment failure.

It said: “Given the distance from land, and the cable depth of about three kms at the point of fault, any kind of human activity – ship anchors, fishing, drilling, etc has been immediately ruled out.

“Our preliminary analysis would suggest some form of seismic activity on the seabed resulted in a break to the cable, but we will obtain more data when the cable is retrieved during the repair exercise.”

It ruled out sabotage as a likely cause of the cut “given the location and cable depth.”

Africa Today News, New York

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