Subsea Cable Cuts in Red Sea Cause Internet Disruptions Across Africa

Subsea cable cuts

A series of major submarine cable cuts in the Red Sea on Thursday resulted in widespread service disruptions affecting several African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and others.

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The damage to the submarine cable, which originates from Europe and passes through the East Coast of Africa, led to significant internet service disruptions in the affected regions.

The affected submarine cable, along with other cables connected to it such as the West African Submarine Cable (WASC), African Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable, and MainOne submarine cable, experienced deep cuts in the Red Sea.

This disruption impacted various sectors including banking, payment services, education, organizations, and agent banking outlets, all of which rely on internet services for their operations.

Confirming the incident, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), the country’s telecoms industry regulator, stated that multiple cable cuts and equipment faults on major undersea cables along the West African Coast had a negative impact on data and fixed telecom services in several countries. The cuts occurred in Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal, with ripple effects felt in Portugal as well.

Repairs Underway

Telecom companies affected by the cable cuts, including West African Cable System (WACS), African Coast to Europe (ACE), SAT3, and MainOne, have begun repair efforts to restore services. However, the restoration process may take a few days, leading to continued disruptions for customers in the affected areas.

Despite the challenges, Nigeria was not significantly impacted due to its multiple submarine cable connections from Europe and Asia, reducing reliance on a single cable. Telcos and service providers are working diligently to re-route customers to alternative cables and backups while repairs are underway.

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While investigations into the cause of the submarine cable cuts are ongoing, experts have suggested possibilities such as natural disasters or interactions with marine life. Telecom operators have assured customers of swift restoration efforts and advised them to expect updates as services are gradually restored.

In response to the disruptions, telecom companies like 9PSB and MTN have communicated with their customers, informing them of the challenges and ongoing restoration plans. Customers are urged to exercise patience as efforts are made to fully restore internet services across the affected regions.

     

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