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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist


Undersea cable failures cause Internet issues in Africa, Middle East and Europe – ETA 12 hours

Vodacom said most of its users are also being inconvenienced and it hopes to have good news soon as it waits for updates on undersea cables.


Microsoft announced it had been told it would take 12 hours to resolve the Internet connection issues in the the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) on Thursday.

It announced this at 4.41pm South Africa time.

Failures at undersea cables near Côte d’Ivoire are behind the problems, which have also seen Vodacom customers experience issues.

The service provider apologised for any inconvenience caused.

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‘Majority of users inconvenienced’

“Certain customers are currently experiencing intermittent connectivity issues due to multiple undersea cable failures affecting SA’s network providers, including us. We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” Vodacom tweeted.

“Some users seem to not be affected, however the majority are sadly being inconvenienced. We are awaiting updates with regards to the undersea cables and hope to have good news soon.”

Microsoft said most of its reports of poor connection came from South Africa and the United Kingdom (UK).

It encouraged users to follow the progress of SI MO737187 on its emergency broadcast site.

On the site, Microsoft identified that “multiple major fibre cables which manage requests in and out of the Africa region are broken. We’re undertaking multiple workstreams to address the issue.”

“The third-party carrier provider responsible for the fibre cables continues to address the underlying issue. They have provided an ETA of 12 hours for these actions.

“Microsoft 365 services are rerouting connections to alternate regions where possible. Microsoft Teams calling is routed through Europe and has provided some relief.

“SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business have rerouted connections to an alternate data centre within the Africa region, which has provided some relief.

“We’re performing work to reconfigure the available fibre cables in the Africa region to provide more processing throughput capabilities.”

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Work in the Red Sea

Microsoft said in addition to these cable impacts, “the on-going cable cuts in the Red Sea — EIG, Seacom, AAE-1 — are also impacting capacity on the East Coast of Africa”, with regards to Microsoft Azure.

“This combination of incidents has impacted all Africa capacity – including other Cloud providers and public Internet as well.”

Responding to this, Microsoft said it is working with its local network partner to fix defective links, and exploring traffic redirection and optimisation on its network.

Again, Microsoft said it would take up to 12 hours to resolve.

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Data internet Microsoft United Kingdom (UK) Vodacom