East Africa internet disrupted again by new subsea cable cuts

East Africa internet disrupted again by new subsea cable cuts

Internet services across East Africa were reportedly disrupted on Sunday due to yet more subsea cable faults, this time on the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) and the Seacom cable.

According to a tweet from Netblocks, the cable cut impacted internet services in Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda, Comoros, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Mozambique, Mayotte, Madagascar and Tanzania. Netblocks added that the impact was particularly severe in Tanzania, Mayotte, Mozambique and Malawi.

Telcos including Airtel, MTN and Safaricom confirmed disruptions to their services and said they were rerouting traffic to compensate. According to Netblocks, Kenya’s internet service is back to normal, but for all other countries, services remained impacted to varying degrees as on Monday.

Ben Roberts, chief technology and innovation officer at Liquid Intelligent Technologies, tweeted on Sunday that the outages were due to a cut on the EASSy club cable that runs between Sudan and South Africa and plays a major role in connecting East African countries to data centres in South Africa. Roberts also said that a fault had also been observed on the Seacom subsea cable that runs along a similar route but goes further up the Red Sea to Egypt.

According to a report from TechCentral, WIOCC Group CEO Chris Wood confirmed the EASSy cable had been cut between South Africa and Mozambique. Seacom also confirmed a break on its system, saying that its PoPs in Maputo and Dar es Salaam were unreachable, the report said.

The cause of the cable breaks has not yet been disclosed. 

The breaks are the latest in a series of subsea cable cuts that have plagued internet users across most of Africa this year – and the second to happen to Seacom.

In February, the Seacom cable – as well as the EIG and AAE-1 cable systems – were severed in the Red Sea by an anchor drag. The following month, an undersea canyon avalanche incident off the coast of Cote d’Ivoire damaged four cable systems – WACS, MainOne, South Atlantic 3 and ACE.

Roberts of Liquid Intelligent Technologies tweeted that the latest disruptions were exacerbated by the fact that the cuts on Seacom, EIG and AAE-1 have not yet been repaired.


Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.