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Lock down not to blame for slow internet speeds

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It’s only expected to improve at the weekend.

Cape Town – Don’t blame the lockdown rules – confining millions of South Africans to their homes – for the frustratingly slow internet speeds being experienced.

It’s only expected to improve at the weekend. The culprit is the West African Cable System (Wacs), which has broken down.

In January, South Africans also had to contend with a slow internet when another undersea cable critical to South Africa’s global internet connection, the South Atlantic 3/West Africa (SAT-3/Wasc) cable, broke down. Due to weather-related problems, it took more than two weeks for repair.

This time, however, a ship contracted to fix the break, between the United Kingdom and Portugal, was able to set sail on Saturday night.

Several internet service providers said their customers were affected by the latest break, including Afrihost, Axxess, Cool Ideas, MWeb, and RSAWeb. This was detected late on Friday evening.

The South African National Research and Education Network (SA NREN) said in a statement on Twitter: “We are observing our WACS capacity as down since 23h28 UTC/27th March 2020. A call has been logged with our provider for feedback. 

“Traffic has failed over to SEACOM and EASSy cable systems, and there is currently no impact for SA NREN traffic.

“The cut is on the cable belonging to TATA and is between Highbridge (UK) and Seixal (Portugal). Information will be imparted as it is received from TATA via our WACS service provider.”

An undersea internet cable (Wacs) that connects South Africa to the rest of the world has just broke again.

The South African National Research & Education Network reported early on Saturday morning that the West African Cable System (Wacs) is broken.#SouthAfrica#WACSpic.twitter.com/F9ctlsqyuW

— Povo News (@povonewstv)March 28, 2020