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Optic fibre cable under repair

Optic fibre cable under repair

Niël Terblanché

REPAIR work on the undersea fibre optic cable that connects Namibia to the rest of the world via the West African Cable System (WACS) at the Mole in Swakopmund was responsible for slower internet speeds experienced by consumers since the weekend.
A cable repair vessel has been anchored off the Mole for the past week while technicians and divers lifted the old connection cable from the sea bottom to affect repairs.
In the regard the Chief Executive Officer of Paratus Africa, Barney Harmse, in a message posted on various social media platforms apologised for the inconvenience experienced by customers.

“Whilst Paratus were balancing traffic across alternative routes due to the WACS cable maintenance, an outage occurred due to a human error. The error was rectified and Namibia is back online.”
Harmse said that the repair work was necessitated after water seeped into the insulation of the cable connecting Namibia to the rest of the world.
“Conditions on the sea bottom especially on the Namibian coastline definitely takes its toll on the hardware.”
He said the damaged part of the fibre optic cable was dug up and pulled ashore at the Mole in Swakopmund and replaced with a new length of fibre optic cable.
Most of the repair work was completed by Tuesday and technicians on site said they were just waiting for the tide to go out so that the divers could go into the sea to reconnect Namibia to the world.
The cable was brought ashore at the beginning of 2011 and has ever since contributed greatly to improved broadband internet speeds and voice communication in Namibia. At the time the cable gave Namibia a significant lead in the broadband revolution in Africa.
The 14000 kilometre long cable that lies along the west coast of Africa brought about high speed broadband connectivity between Namibia and the rest of the world. It has landing points in South Africa, Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, The Ivory Coast, Cape Verde as well as the Canary Islands, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
WACS was constructed and laid at a cost of US$600 million. At the time Namibia along with Botswana invested in the design and construction of the cable at a cost of US$75 million.

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