Monday, May 27, 2024

Massive internet outage that may take months to fix: These are the African nations most affected – Times of India

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Disruption to internet services for millions of users in Africa may reportedly take weeks or even months to fix. The disruption is said to have been caused following damage to undersea cables off the continent’s west coast.
According to a report in Bloomberg, eight West African countries were suffering a second day of major connectivity issues on Friday (March 15) with users in South Africa also affected, after damage to four sub-sea cables.The cause of the cable cutting was still not known, though a shifting of the seabed was among the likely possibilities.
Countries impacted by outage
Data show a major disruption to connectivity in eight West African countries, with Ivory Coast, Liberia and Benin being the most affected, NetBlocks, an internet watchdog, said in a post on X. Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon are among other countries impacted. Several companies have also reported service disruptions in South Africa. Ghana’s National Communications Authority said cable disruptions also occurred in Senegal and Portugal.
“Repairs can take weeks to months, depending on where the damage is, what needs to be repaired, and local weather conditions,” told a spokesperson at internet analytics firm Cloudflare to Bloomberg. “The assignment of repair ships depends on a number of factors, including ownership of the impacted cables.”
Companies impacted
The companies affected include West Africa Cable System, MainOne, South Atlantic 3 and ACE sea cables. MTN Group, one of the largest wireless carriers in Africa, said that ACE and WACS have jointly initiated the repair process, and that they would send a vessel to fix the damaged cables.
Orange Marine said the firm was one of the specialist companies that would be involved in the repair operations for the cables, adding that other companies are also involved in efforts to restore the various cables. It said the repair time is not yet known.
Ghana’s main stock exchange extended trading hours by an hour on Thursday and Friday, while Nigeria’s second-largest cement maker scrapped a call with investors as the damage to four subsea cables off the west coast of Africa, stymied businesses across parts of the continent.
“This is a devastating blow to internet connectivity along the west coast of Africa, which will be operating in a degraded state for weeks to come,” said Doug Madory, director of internet analysis firm Kentik.

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