South African Internet users frustrated at the slow and intermittent Internet service experienced since yesterday afternoon should brace themselves for at least another week of it as the Seacom cable could be down for eight days or more.
According to a statement from Seacom, it experienced a submarine failure yesterday, resulting in service downtime between Mumbai and Mombasa.
"Current investigations indicate that a repeater has failed on segment 9 of the Seacom cable, which is offshore to the north of Mombasa," the company says. "This unexpected failure affects traffic towards both India and Europe. Traffic within Africa is not affected."
Seacom has initiated emergency repair procedures to replace the repeater, it adds.
"Once mobilised, the repair ship is deployed to the location of the fault to pick up the cable. The cable is then brought on board to undergo the repair – the faulty element is replaced with a new repeater – before being put back in the water.
"While the repair process itself will only take a few hours, the overall process may last a minimum of six to eight days," Seacom warns.
"The actual duration is unpredictable due to external factors such as transit time of the ship, weather conditions and time to locate the cable. For this reason, the estimated duration of this repair remains uncertain."
Seacom and its clients are looking for alternatives to restore service while the repairs are undertaken.