Disrupted SAT3 Service Restored in West Africa


The damage done to the submarine fibre cable that provides internet service to Nigeria and other countries in West Africa SAT3 has been rectified and service restored. A BBC report last week said that the repair of the damage which was discovered 25 kilometres off the coast of Benin on a branch of the SAT-3 cable, which connects Europe to South Africa led to a restoration of service to West Africa.

The SAT-3 consortium, according to the report, sent a maintence ship from Cape Town in South Africa to repair the fault. It arrived in Cotonou in Benin late Saturday evening and carried out repairs on Sunday morning. However Suburban, which runs capacity on the network, confirmed to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that the cable was still undergoing testing with a view to carrying full traffic this week.

While it lasted, the damage which severely disrupted and knocked out service in Togo, Niger and Benin, left more than 70 percent of Nigeria without internet access causing severe problems for its banking sector, government and mobile phone networks.

Many countries had to either reroute traffic overland or use expensive satellite links to maintain connectivity. Nigeria was particularly badly hit because around 70 percent of its bandwidth is routed through neighbouring Benin. The network, run by Suburban Telecom, was set up to bypass Nigeria's principal telecoms operator, Nitel, which runs the SAT-3 branch cable which lands in Nigeria.

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