Sunday, April 14, 2024

Major Internet Outages Hit 13 African Countries After Submarine Cable Cuts

Africa coast to Europe (ACE) cable snaps

Numerous international locations throughout Africa skilled Web outages on Thursday as a result of harm to submarine fiber optic cables. A complete of 13 international locations had been reported to be initially affected. Of the 13, some together with Ghana and Nigeria, are nonetheless affected by nationwide outages. The supply of the cable harm is undetermined.

The cable cuts had been formally confirmed by the Nigerian Communications Fee. A part of the assertion from the fee learn:

A number of community suppliers reported Web outages yesterday, and Cloudflare’s Radar software, which displays Web utilization patterns, detailed how the outage seemingly moved from the northern a part of West Africa to South Africa. All 13 international locations (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, The Gambia, and Togo) reportedly suffered nationwide outages, with most seeing a number of networks hit.”

Submarine Cable Reduce Location

The mix of cable cuts led to tools faults on the main undersea cables alongside the West African Coast. Consequently,  information and stuck telecom companies in a number of international locations of West Africa, together with Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Cote de Ivoire, amongst others had been impacted. Cuts to the fibre cables are stated to be someplace in Cote de’Ivoire and Senegal, with an attendant disruption in Portugal.

Africa Coast to Europe (Ace) subsea cable, runs alongside the west coast of Africa between France and South Africa. This significant cable of 17,000 km connects 19 international locations in Europe and Africa. Moreover, there may be the West African Cable System (WACS) additionally within the West Coast route from Europe.

The 2 skilled faults whereas South Atlantic 3 (SAT3) and MainOne have downtime. Related undersea cables offering visitors from Europe to the East Coast of Africa, like Seacom, Europe India Gateway (EIG), Asia- Africa-Europe 1 (AAE1), are stated to have been reduce sooner or later across the Crimson Sea, leading to degradation of companies throughout on these routes.

Cloudflare reported that web disruptions in some African international locations diverse in period. The Gambia and Guinea skilled the shortest outages, lasting solely about half-hour. In distinction, South Africa’s disruption was for much longer, at 5 hours, and a few international locations are nonetheless going through ongoing web points.

Solely One Restore Vessel

Restore works are nonetheless ongoing. Whereas some nations are already again to regular service, some could wait longer. Africa is served by the French cable-laying vessel Léon Thévenin. The issue is Leon Thevenin is Africa’s solely fiber restore vessel. It’s the sole vessel licensed to restore submarine cables in Africa.

Cable cuts will not be frequent however happen. In early March, three undersea fiber cables within the Crimson Sea had been reduce. This impacted negatively an estimated 25 p.c of Web visitors within the Center East, Asia, and Europe and compelled plans to reroute visitors.

Final 12 months in September, WACS, ACE submarine cable, Angolan home festoon system, and the SAT-3 cables snapped. The breakage of the cables was attributed to rockfall within the Congo Canyon.

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