Yesterday we contacted WIOCC, the operator of the EASSy undersea cable that was said to have been affected by the cable break between Egypt and Marseilles. We basically asked for more details regarding their cable in terms of how exactly the have been affected. We received a response from Mike Last, Director of Marketing & International Business Development at WIOCC.
According to him, some reports in the media have incorrectly suggested the EASSy cable suffered a break. The break, he says, is actually on cables that they use/buy capacity on for traffic to other continents. He also explained that as a result, they, like the other cable operators with cables running along Africa’s East coast, have had to work around the clock to restore services via alternative routes.
Here’s the response:
Over the last 3-4 days many of the reports in the press have been inaccurate regarding a cut to EASSy. EASSy itself has NOT been cut. The cuts actually occurred to a number of cables in the Mediterranean Sea. These cables are used by numerous operators (including WIOCC) in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The cuts disrupted services to all continents to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the level of route diversity being employed by the various service providers in each region.
When cable cuts occur, the impact on the end user is felt much less where service providers have diversified their traffic across multiple systems. One of the problems over the last few years is that many African operators and ISPs have not taken advantage of all of the cables now serving the continent. They have tended to purchase large amounts of capacity on a single system, or limit their diversity to two systems. This may enable low cost services but it does so at the risk to service quality.
WIOCC offers carrier class services on multiple cable systems with diverse routing across areas such as the Mediterranean, enabling telcos and ISPs to minimise the impact of such events on their own customers. Furthermore, when cuts such as happened on Friday do occur, WIOCC immediately implements its own restoration plan to restore customer traffic to alternative systems until the damaged cable is repaired. Over the last few days WIOCC has been working around the clock to restore traffic to affected customers. This process is now largely complete. Customers should not notice any material impact on latency or quality of service on the alternative route.
The damaged cables will now be repaired by their respective maintenance companies. When the repairs are completed WIOCC customer traffic will be returned to its original routing.