Here Is Why Your Internet Has Been Bad Over The Last Few Days

Over the last week, internet users in Botswana have been complaining on social media about degraded services and at some times, no internet service at all. The reason for the poor internet, however, is not the fault of internet service providers (ISPs).

On Sunday 6 August, the West African Cable System (WACS) and the South Atlantic 3 (SAT–3) undersea cables experienced breaks impacting connectivity to South Africa, where most Botswana ISPs get their connectivity.

The breaks were reportedly caused by a rock fall in the Congo Canyon.

Based on the distance measured using the systems’ Coherent Optical Time Domain Reflectometer, the breaks occurred between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon.

According to network status reports, SAT–3 was cut on the morning of August 6, while WACS went down later that evening.

The cable-laying ship Léon Thévenin has been mobilised for deep-water repair but it is not clear when the repairs will be concluded. 

This is not the first time that the two cables have broken down and caused internet interruptions and outages. The same happened in 2016, 2020, and 2021.

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