2011/03/17 - Unscheduled Internet Outage
At about 11PM last night, all South African higher educational institutions lost access to the international Internet.

You will likely experience this outage as an ERR_DNS_FAIL or ERR_CONNECT_FAIL error when trying to access websites hosted outside South Africa (even those ending in .za). When accessing secure (https://) web sites, your browser may report that the connection has timed out or the site is unreachable.

The reason for the outage is a fault on the SEACOM submarine fibre optic cable. SEACOM have indicated that there is a break in the terrestrial portion of the cable going through Egypt. Due to the security situation in Egypt, SEACOM indicated that they weren't able to dispatch a technician to the site until daylight. Work should have commenced on the break at around 6AM, and is expected to take a couple of hours to complete.
The end resolution of this problem was an interesting insight into world politics. Whilst the cause of this fault was known as early as 1.30AM, nobody could work on the problem until after 6AM. The reason for this was the location -- Egypt currently has dusk-to-dawn curfews enforced by the military. SEA-ME-WE4's technician could only leave for the site once this curfew had been lifted.