MainOne restoring services to customers after cable cuts

Adebisi Aikulola
Adebisi Aikulola

A major internet provider for most of Nigeria commercial banks and internet service providers (ISPs), MainOne, which suffered a major submarine cut that knocked major banks offline, said it has started the process of restoring services to some of its customers.

The cable company, in a note shared with The Nation, said: “We have restored services to some customers and are actively working on restoring services to others via capacity acquired on available cable systems.

“The estimated repair time is for our submarine cable fault to be fixed, to enable our services to become fully restored, and to independently supply capacity to our customers.”

As a result of the submarine cable breaks, customers of major banks could not access their banking apps or use any Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) service.

Some big shopping malls could not even access the network to enable their customers to use point-of-sale (PoS) terminals.

Subsea cable breaks on MainOne, SAT 3, WACS and ACE had crippling internet connectivity in Nigeria, South Africa, and other countries on the continent.

The cable outages affected several ISPs and cloud service providers and also degraded the quality of voice calls.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, Vodacom had said: “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.”

The outage had also affected services such as Microsoft Azure and Office 365.

In an update, Microsoft said: “We have determined that multiple fibre cables on the West Coast of Africa — WACS, MainOne, SAT3, ACE — have been impacted, which has reduced total capacity supporting our regions in South Africa.

“In addition to these cable impacts, the ongoing cable cuts in the Red Sea — EIG, Seacom, AAE-1 — are also impacting capacity on the East Coast of Africa. This combination of incidents has impacted all Africa capacity – including that of other cloud providers and the public internet as well.”

MTN also issued a statement explaining the cause of the downtime.

The company said: “We apologise for the challenges you may be experiencing with internet speed and accessing data services at the moment.

“This is a result of damage to international undersea cables across East & West Africa. The repair process is ongoing to resolve the situation as soon as possible. Please look out for further updates.”

Microsoft on Azure status also said: “Starting at 10:30 UTC on 14 March 2024, customers using Azure Services in South Africa North and South Africa West may experience increased network latency or packet drops when accessing their resources.”

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