Internet down due to subsea cable damage in Africa

Internet down due to subsea cable damage in Africa

Operators have reported connectivity disruption across Africa after multiple subsea cables had been reported to be damaged off the coast in West Africa.

Subsea cables carry the bulk of connectivity traffic with a small part carried by satellites. Reports of internet connectivity being disrupted came in yesterday (March 14). Internet security company Cloudflare reported Liberia saw disruptions lasting more than 12 hours, while in Gambia and Guinea outages only lasted 30 minutes. 

In a statement to Developing Telecoms, Orange said the ACE, MainOne Sat 3, and WACS cables had been damaged along the West Coast of Africa.

“Major impacts on international connectivity (voice and data) have been observed in several countries, particularly for Orange subsidiaries in the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea,” said an Orange spokesperson. 

The operator said the cause of the outages is unknown at this time, and it is looking to reroute traffic and connect isolated countries through alternative routes. “Several terrestrial links have already been reinforced to improve the situation,” said Orange. 

Vodacom posted on X (formerly Twitter) that there had been “undersea cable failures between South Africa and Europe” which had affected South African MNOs”. The operator implemented alternative solutions and “normal service has been restored to customers”. 

Angola Cables detailed in a statement there had indeed been “cable breaks” off the coast of West Africa, specifically in the Ivory Coast. Traffic has been redirected to the SACS cable which connects Angola directly to Brazil, the US and Europe. 

“Angola Cables has network backup and restoration solutions available through cables that have not been affected by the faults off the Ivory Coast,” the cable company said. 


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