Internet Distress May Persist For Three Weeks – MainOne

MainOne, one of the undersea cable companies affected by service disruptions due to multiple cable cuts, has said it might take between two and three weeks to fix the damaged portions of the cable.

In a note shared with Newsmen on Friday, the cable company said some form of seismic activity on the seabed resulted in a break to the cable.

It added that preliminary findings and further investigations revealed that the fault occurred due to an external incident that resulted in a cut on the submarine cable system, in the Atlantic Ocean offshore Cote D’Ivoire along the coast of West Africa.

“We have a maintenance agreement with Atlantic Cable Maintenance and Repair Agreement (ACMA) to provide repair services for the submarine cable.

“First identify and assign a vessel, the vessel has to retrieve the necessary spares required for repair, and then sail to the fault location to conduct the repair work.

” Next, in order to complete the repair, the affected section of the submarine cable will have to be pulled from the seabed onto the ship where it will be spliced by skilled technicians.

“Post-repair, joints will be inspected and tested for any defects and then the submarine cable is lowered back to the seabed and guided to a good position.

“This process might take one to two weeks for repairs while about two to three weeks of transit time may be required for the vessel to pick up the spares and travel from Europe to West Africa once the vessel is mobilised., ” the company said.

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On what could have specifically caused the outage, the company said most submarine cable faults occur as a result of human activities such as fishing and anchoring in shallow waters near shore, natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, and then equipment failure.

“Given the distance from land, and the cable depth of about 3 kms at the point of fault, any kind of human activity – ship anchors, fishing, drilling etc has been immediately ruled out.

” Our preliminary analysis would suggest some form of seismic activity on the seabed resulted in a break to the cable, but we will obtain more data when the cable is retrieved during the repair exercise,” MainOne said.

On whether it was intentionally sabotaged, the company said it was most unlikely.

” Not likely given the location and cable depth, and as indicated above, we have strong indications on probable cause, ” the company said.

On the specific sea vessels are being allocated to repair the damage, the company said: “We are working with Atlantic Cable Maintenance and Repair Agreement (ACMA) who will deploy the vessel and are unable to provide more information at this time.”

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