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Undersea cable damage disrupts Internet services in East Africa

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Internet connectivity was disrupted in several East African nations on Sunday due to faults reported on the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) and SEACOM cables, Internet monitoring groups said.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), NetBlocks stated, “Network data show a disruption to Internet connectivity in and around multiple East African countries”.

It was noted that Tanzania and the French Island of Mayotte were experiencing a high impact on Internet connectivity, while Mozambique and Malawi were seeing a medium impact.

Another Internet firm, Cloudflare, also confirmed on X that connectivity disruptions were ongoing in Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, and Madagascar.

Earlier, Safaricom, Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator, announced that it had activated redundancy measures to minimise service interruption and keep subscribers connected as they await the full restoration of the cable.

The telecom operator said subscribers would experience reduced Internet speeds.

In March, Internet outages were reported in West African countries, including Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Benin, Ghana, and Burkina Faso, as well as South Africa.

The outages were attributed to damage to four sub-sea cables off the west coast of Africa, which disrupted connectivity across the continent.

The affected cables included the West Africa Cable System, MainOne, South Atlantic 3, and ACE sea cables, which are critical for telecommunications data.

The Chief Executive Officer of West Indian Ocean Cable Company, Chris Wood, said it could result in collective repair costs of about $8 million for the four digital infrastructure companies affected.

The cable firms might need to allocate between $1 million and $2 million for the complete restoration of a single subsea cable, depending on the severity of the damage incurred, he explained in March.

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