Heritage Reporter

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Internet outage:  Failure beyond our control — MainOne

…Announces repair may last five weeks


The damaged submarine cable has been said to constitute an event of Force Majeure, being a situation beyond the control in the ordinary and normal cause of business of MainOne, a leading data centre and provider of submarine cable systems.


MainOne which disclosed this in a recent update on Friday, added that the process to repair its damaged submarine cable may take up to five weeks.

Recall, the company had earlier disclosed on Thursday that its preliminary investigation attributed the fault of the internet disruptions being experienced lately to an incident on its “submarine cable system offshore the coast of West Africa that has also affected other cable systems and is affecting international connectivity and internet services to countries across West Africa.”

The company stated that its team was working assiduously to ensure restoration of services, “subject availability of capacity and service configuration specifics.”

It further disclosed that the fault resulted from an external incident, resulting in a cut along the West African coast, offshore Cote D’Ivoire, in the Atlantic Ocean between Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire.

The outage, which has also impacted services of some Nigerian banks, will be repaired in a procedure involving inspecting and testing of the cable joints for defects, followed by lowering the cable back to the seabed and guiding it to an optimal position.

“Based on the circumstances, the failure constitutes an event of Force Majeure, being a situation beyond our control in the ordinary and normal cause of business,” the company stated.

According to the company, given the distance from land, and the cable depth of about 3 km at the point of fault, any kind of human activity – ship anchors, fishing, and drilling among others had been immediately ruled out.

It added that the process may take approximately five weeks to complete as it includes mobilising a vessel to retrieve necessary parts from Europe and transit to 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 1-2 weeks for repairs while about 2-3 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,” MainOne’s update disclosed.


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