DSL Network speed and connectivity in South Africa – Feb – Apr 2012

It’s been a rocky start to the year of DSL connectivity with EASSY and SEACOM, among the major uplinks from Southern Africa, all were affected by outages.

After a network outage between Abu Talat in Egypt and Marseilles, France was reportedly cleared on Feb 8, 2012, rumours surrounding additional downtime of the SEACOM network on Feb 27 were quashed with the simple statement by SEACOM:

The SEACOM network is not experiencing any cable outages or international connectivity disruptions as a result of multiple cable cuts currently affecting other providers and carriers in the Gulf of Aden.

Meanwhile, local network providers during this time lost EASSY STM4 and SEACOM d-links which resulted in national network speeds across the board dropping. On 9 Feb, Telkom’s link between Rosebank and Hong Kong flipped, proxies flopped and links were marked as non-specifically ‘down’, weekly on the 14th and 21st of February.

March 27 saw Telkom links causing speed decreases and connection drops nationally.

Hopefully, from 10 April, networks will stabilise – network providers are clearing faults thick and fast:

  • Latency has dropped from 140ms at times for local tests to 11ms at present.
  • While DSL speeds are still only at around 8.36Mbps (as opposed to the 13.32Mbps on HSDPA+), the speed seems to have levelled
  • Sustained transfer speeds have stabilised as routing back to normal main-line links has kicked in.

It can only get better from here…