According to an update on the SEACOM official blog, its broken undersea fibre cable between Mumbai and Mombasa will take until the July 22 to fix. The cable went down on 5 July and affected all SEACOM internet Traffic to India and Europe.
When the cable broke, SEACOM said it’d have it fixed within 8 days but this recent update probably means the issue is more complicated than initially thought. The latest update notes:
…the exogenous factors such as location, water depth, weather and spare parts needed make this cable outage very difficult to repair and a highly specialised vessel and technical crew is being used to carry out this work. Based on this, the current timeline indicates that the repairs may now only be finalised by 22 July 2010.
Interestingly, SEACOM’s last tweet on the matter suggests there’s more to the story than is being made public.
In an interview yesterday with South African blog Moneyweb, SEACOM’s head of product strategy, Suveer Ramdhani said that SEACOM has managed to restore the bulk of its clients on alternative cable systems. He also indicated that only a small percentage of end users will go without broadband because of the broken fibre. Especially those users with small ISPs.
The current outage is the second in just under 3 months. On April 14 April this year, a SEA-ME-WE 4 cable which SEACOM relies on for connectivity between Egypt and France failed and slowed down Internet traffic to Europe.
In Zimbabwe, Econet, Africom and TelOne are all installing fibre cable backbone networks to connect to the SEACOM cable. Econet is doing so through Beitbridge while Africom and TelOne will connect through TDM in Mozambique. The Africom project is rumored to be in the final stages.