Undersea cable breaks impact South Africa Internet users.

In the last 12 months the total amount of traffic on Herotel’s network has surged. Local (SA) traffic has grown by almost 115% and international traffic by just over 110%. So what happens when the internet cables that connect millions of South African’s to the world break?

On the 14th of March 2024 multiple undersea cables that carry international traffic to and from Africa’s west coast were severed. Large merchant ships dragging their anchors are often the cause but in this case a rockfall, probably triggered by seismic activity, was the culprit. Estimates to repair these cables range from 4-6 weeks at best.

How were Herotel customers affected? We carry our international traffic on multiple cable systems on both the West and East coasts of Africa. This type of redundancy is designed into our network to specifically safeguard us against failures on any one cable system. Some companies host their services in the cloud which means that the actual service you use locally runs on equipment hosted in a data centre somewhere in the world. So Microsoft users, for example, may have noticed delays in accessing services like Office 365 and Teams. Fortunately they were able to re-route this traffic on alternative cable systems and with 24 hours most of the services we rely on every day were operating as normal.

Read more about the cable break here.