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Internet Disruption in East Africa: Efforts Underway for Restoration

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  • While the immediate cause of the faults affecting the Eassy and Seacom cable systems couldn’t be determined, Wiocc, an investor in the Eassy cable system, reported a cut between South Africa and Mozambique.
  • This marks the second major fiber cut in Africa this year, following a March incident off the coast of Cote d’Ivoire, resulting in several submarine cables going offline and affecting 13 West African countries with degraded or near-total internet services.

Kenya’s telecommunications regulatory body announced on Monday that measures are being taken to restore internet services disrupted across East Africa.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) confirmed a deep-sea fiber cut at South Africa’s Mtunzini teleport station on Sunday, affecting various fiber cables serving Kenya, including the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) and Seacom cables.

David Mugonyi, CA Director General, stated from Nairobi that the recovery process has begun but warned of potential internet intermittency and slow speeds in the coming days.

Mugonyi instructed service providers to secure alternative routes and closely monitor the situation for continued internet connectivity.

Ben Roberts, Liquid Intelligent Technologies’ group chief technology and innovation officer, noted severe internet service impacts in East African nations due to outages on submarine fiber cables connecting Kenya and South Africa.

Roberts highlighted cuts in three vital Red Sea submarine cables – Seacom, Europe India Gateway (EIG), and Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) – exacerbating the widespread outage.

While the immediate cause of the faults affecting the Eassy and Seacom cable systems couldn’t be determined, Wiocc, an investor in the Eassy cable system, reported a cut between South Africa and Mozambique.

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Kenyan operator Safaricom confirmed the outage, assuring customers of efforts to restore stable internet connections and activating redundancy measures to minimize disruption.

Mugonyi mentioned the utilization of the East African Marine Systems (TEAMS) cable for local traffic, unaffected by the fiber cut, and activated redundancy on the South Africa route to mitigate impact.

This marks the second major fiber cut in Africa this year, following a March incident off the coast of Cote d’Ivoire, resulting in several submarine cables going offline and affecting 13 West African countries with degraded or near-total internet services.

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