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Another subsea cable fail impacts East Africa's Internet

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Internet connectivity in several African countries has been disrupted after two subsea cables connecting Southern and East Africa went down, slowing connections and causing widespread outages.

The Internet outage is impacting countries including Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Madagascar and Tanzania, making this the third major event affecting Internet cables in Africa since February 2024.

Even though the immediate cause of the outage is not clear, both the East African Submarine Cable System (Eassy) and Seacom cable systems along Africa's east coast were affected.

This disruption follows damage to four subsea cables in March 2024, when a suspected subsea seismic event occurred off the coast of Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire on the west coast of Africa, impacting Africa's Internet services.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies Group CTIO Ben Roberts posted on social media platform X that Internet services in East Africa have been "severely impaired" by problems with the two cables.

The outage comes at a bad time as three subsea cables in the Red Sea, connecting Africa and Southeast Asia to Europe, remain unrepaired after being damaged in late February 2024.

Telcos impacted by subsea cable breaks

The subsea cable disruptions have been impacting East African users, so much so that telecommunications operator Safaricom also posted on X acknowledging the break.

"We have experienced an outage on one of the undersea cables that deliver Internet traffic in and out of the country," Safaricom said in a post on X.

The subsea cable disruption is the third major event affecting Internet cables in Africa since February 2024.   (Source: Image by Freepik).
The subsea cable disruption is the third major event affecting Internet cables in Africa since February 2024.
(Source: Image by Freepik).

"We have since activated redundancy measures to minimize service interruption and keep you connected as we await the full restoration of the cable," it added.

Furthermore, TechCentral is reporting that Wiocc Group CEO Chris Wood – an investor in the Eassy cable – said the cable had been severed somewhere between South Africa and Mozambique.

Wood said a cable repair ship based in Cape Town has been mobilized and will sail on Tuesday morning.

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"Transit to the site will take three days. The repair time will be dependent on weather, sea conditions and the extent of the damage," Wood added.

Moreover, a Seacom representative said the company's technical teams were currently working with the vendors on restoring services to the regions.

Related posts:

*Top image source: freepik.

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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