Yesterday, the Botswana fibre optic cable that supplies wholesale International bandwidth to Powertel (a state owned Internet provider) broke. The cable damage was on a section in an area outside Francistown in Botswana. The cable was fixed later in the evening the same day.
A lot of Zimbabwean ISPs rely on this link for International traffic and this forced them to redirect all traffic to more expensive satellite links. Two of Zimbabwe’s leading ISPs, ZOL and YoAfrica, sent emails to clients explaining the significant drop in Internet speed.
Powertel is the first company to bring high speed International fibre connectivity to Zimbabwe through a deal it signed with Botswana Telecommunications (BTC) in May this year. Powertel gets direct international connectivity through a Synchronous Transport Module One (STM1) at a maximum of 155Mbps.