Disruptions plague East African Internet as submarine cables cut

East Africa has been grappling with significant internet disruptions since May 12, 2024, due to damage sustained by submarine cables, Cloudflare reported. These cables are critical infrastructure for internet connectivity, carrying vast amounts of data traffic between continents.

Disruptions plague East African Internet as submarine cables cut

East Africa has been grappling with significant internet disruptions since May 12, 2024, due to damage sustained by submarine cables, Cloudflare reported. These cables are critical infrastructure for internet connectivity, carrying vast amounts of data traffic between continents.

This recent incident comes on the heels of previous damage to submarine cables in the Red Sea in February 2024. Those cables connected East Africa to Southeast Asia and Europe. While the cause of the May 12th cut remains under investigation, the February damage was reportedly caused by the anchor of a cargo ship that had been attacked.

The combined effects of these cable disruptions have resulted in widespread internet outages across East Africa. According to internet monitoring services, countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda have all experienced reduced internet speeds and connectivity issues. The impact has also been felt in Mozambique, Malawi, and Madagascar.

These internet disruptions can have a significant impact on both businesses and individuals. Businesses may experience interrupted online operations, hindered communication, and reduced productivity. Individuals may face difficulties accessing online services, completing online tasks, and communicating with others online.

The severity of the impact varies depending on the specific location and the redundancy built into individual internet service providers' networks. However, the widespread nature of these cable cuts underscores the vulnerability of internet infrastructure in certain regions.

Submarine cables are essential for global internet connectivity. They carry the vast majority of internet traffic between continents, facilitating communication, online commerce, and access to information. Damage to these cables can have serious consequences for entire regions.

Repairing damaged submarine cables can be a complex and time-consuming process. The cables are located deep underwater, and specialized equipment and expertise are required to effect repairs. In the case of the February 2024 damage, repairs are still ongoing as of May 20, 2024.

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