by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa has a remarkable ability to bounce back from events that seem insurmountable at the time.
In addition, its information and communications technology (ICT) industry has invested considerable resources in building a local web that is much more responsive, robust and resilient than previous years.
This is according to a technology executive after the country had a challenging couple of months with Stage 6 load-shedding making its appearance for the first time, followed by the recent SAT-3 communications cable break.
Anthony Engelbrecht, Technical Director of Huge Networks, gave the sentiments adding that just as Stage 6 load-shedding came and went, good news for local Internet users was that the cable repair vessel, Leon Thevenin, was on its way to repairing the damaged SAT-3 submarine cable.
The cable connects South Africa with the rest of the world.
South Africans dependent on internet-based voice and data communications links felt the impact of the SAT-3 break, in particular, with the degree of impact largely depending on their choice of internet service provider (ISP).
The local media reported that some ISP clients were barely affected, some experienced speeds half as slow and some up to 95 percent slower than usual.
For their part, Huge clients reported a negligible impact on their daily IP-based voice and data experience.
“Our focus on smart routing means we’re always thinking ahead,” Engelbrecht explained.
“We replaced the missing SAT-3 capacity with capacity from other cable suppliers and we did so in a seamless fashion that mostly went unnoticed by our clients.”
Recently, South Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) commented that an SAT-3 cable break 15 years ago would have meant no international connectivity at all and extremely limited local content and services.
In 2020 however, redundancy created by multiple cable systems and South Africa’s dynamic local peering ecosystem means that a significant undersea cable break had a manageable impact on local users.
Engelbrecht also highlighted the importance of an excellent phone system.
“In the event of an undersea cable break, being able to pick up the phone and make a crystal clear voice call to a valued business partner could prove to be an invaluable experience.”
Part of the listed Huge Group and now incorporating Otel, Huge Networks is a data service provider and communications company.
– CAJ News