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Somalia's Subsea Link Finally Repaired

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More than three weeks after the majority of Somalia was cut off from the Internet following damage to the country's main subsea network connection, the central and southern areas of the country are back online.

The submarine cable link that runs from the country's capital, Mogadishu, to the backbone of the Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy), was severed in late June, cutting off online access for millions of people and businesses and costing the country's economy an estimated $10 million per day. (See Somalia Counts Cost of Subsea Cable Cut.)

Finally, on July 17, the connection was restored, prompting Somalia's Information Minister, Abdirahman Omar Osman, to apologize for the outage and delay and to call for network operators to organize redundancy and have an alternative route to the global network should such an incident reoccur: Only a few individuals in the affected areas were able to access the Internet via satellite connections.

The subsea connection from Somalia's capital Mogadishu to the Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) backbone has been restored.
The subsea connection from Somalia's capital Mogadishu to the Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) backbone has been restored.

The construction of subsea cables and numerous landing points down the east and west coast of Africa that have connected multiple economies to affordable Internet access during the past decade has had a dramatic impact on the digital capabilities of Africa's economy, but the recent outage shows how fragile that connectivity can be.

— Ray Le Maistre, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, International Group Editor, Light Reading for Connecting Africa.

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