Undersea Cable Cut Causes 13 African countries Internet Disruptions

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Undersea Cable Cut Causes 13 African countries Internet Disruptions; Restoration Efforts Underway

In the early hours of Thursday, March 14, widespread disruptions hit data services across several regions in Africa, triggered by an undersea cable cut. Mobile network operators (MNOs) found themselves operating on limited data capacity, halting numerous activities across affected areas.

Ghana’s Communications Authority reported a significant loss of data capacity, totaling approximately 1,596.6 Gbps, attributed to multiple undersea cable cuts. Among the impacted African countries, varying degrees of internet disruptions were experienced, ranging from severe to low impact. These include Ivory Coast, Liberia, Benin, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, Cameroon, Gabon, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Lesotho, and South Africa.

The repercussions of the disruption rippled through various industries, including banking, healthcare, education, and government services, highlighting the indispensable role of internet access in everyday life.

Authorities in the affected nations are diligently working to minimize interruptions and restore internet services. Despite numerous assumptions, including technical malfunctions and cyberattacks targeting internet infrastructure, the exact cause of the outage remains undisclosed.

Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) disclosed that the restoration process is anticipated to span at least five weeks. In a statement dated March 16, the NCA revealed that

“service providers have remotely identified the approximate locations of the damage and are mobilizing repair vessels to the affected areas.”

This revelation emerged during a face-to-face meeting convened by the NCA, involving key officials from the four subsea cable landing service providers (ACE, MainOne, SAT-3, and WACS), along with representatives from the three major mobile network operators (AT, MTN, and Telecel). The NCA emphasized the concerted efforts of MNOs and service providers to expedite the restoration process, noting,

“The subsea cable landing service providers have indicated an estimated time frame of a minimum of five (5) weeks for full-service restoration from the time the vessels are dispatched to the various locations.”


Faulty undersea cables to be fully restored in a minimum of 5 weeks – NCA

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