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Sub-sea cable cut disrupts internet connection in Africa for the second time in a year

Undersea cable

The was a significant disruption in Internet connectivity across several East African nations on Sunday, May 12, following faults in the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) and SEACOM cables, according to reports by Internet monitoring groups NetBlocks and Cloudflare.

In a post on X, NetBlocks detailed the impact, indicating that Tanzania and the French Island of Mayotte were experiencing severe disruptions.

“Network data show a disruption to Internet connectivity in and around multiple East African countries,” NetBlocks wrote.

It was reported that Mozambique and Malawi were also affected, but to a medium extent.

Cloudflare corroborated these findings, noting ongoing connectivity issues in Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, and Madagascar.

This incident follows a series of outages in March that affected various West African countries and South Africa, disrupting digital communication and business operations.

Those outages were traced back to damages on four sub-sea cables located off the west coast of Africa, namely the West Africa Cable System, MainOne, South Atlantic 3, and ACE sea cables, which are pivotal in facilitating telecommunications data across the continent.

Chris Wood, CEO of the West Indian Ocean Cable Company, has previously highlighted the high costs associated with repairing such critical infrastructure.

In March, he estimated the collective repair costs for the four affected cables could reach about $8 million. Wood explained that restoring a single subsea cable could require between $1 million and $2 million depending on the extent of damage.

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