Undersea Cable Damage Disrupts Internet in East Africa


Recent damage to undersea cables has disrupted internet services in several East African countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. This marks the third widespread disruption in Africa’s internet connectivity since the beginning of the year, raising concerns about the continent’s network vulnerabilities.

The damage affected two crucial submarine cables, EASSy (East Africa Submarine System) and Seacom, leading to varying levels of disruption for internet users in the region. Telecom operators like Safaricom in Kenya and MTN in South Africa are working to minimize the impact by sourcing additional capacity from other undersea cable partners. However, full restoration of services may take several days to weeks, depending on the extent of the damage.

The outage in East Africa follows similar events in March, when cuts to four cables disrupted internet access in Nigeria, Ghana, and other West African countries. These disruptions have highlighted Africa’s increasing dependence on the internet for commerce and daily life.

The frequency of these cable cuts underscores the need for policymakers and service providers to enhance the continent’s internet infrastructure’s resilience. Coordinated efforts at the regional and continental levels are essential to address these challenges and ensure uninterrupted internet connectivity for Africa’s digital economy to thrive.

In conclusion, the recent cable damage serves as a reminder of the importance of investing in robust internet infrastructure and developing contingency plans to mitigate the impact of future disruptions.


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