Kenya among countries hit by major internet outage

Wi-Fi is now almost a standard in nearly all public areas, just as toilets and drinking water. 

Photo credit: File

A major internet disruption was on Sunday experienced across East and South Africa following a submarine cable cut.

According to reports, all sub-sea capacity between the two regions was severely affecting several internet service providers across the region.

By the time of going to press, the cause of the cable failures was not immediately clear, to the frustration of millions of customers around the region.

Even so, Ben Roberts, Group CTIO at Liquid Intelligent Technologies said in a post on X, said that faults have been reported in the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) and the Seacom cables.

“Three crucial submarine cables in the Red Sea — Seacom, EIG, and AAE1 — have also suffered cuts and remain unrepaired, leading to the widespread outage,” he posted.

The latest cable problems appear to severe impact on internet users in Kenya and Tanzania, with social media reports suggesting a near-total internet blackout in some areas. Rwanda, Uganda and Madagascar also appear to be affected.

In Kenya, the outages affected users of major networks and internet service providers, including Safaricom and Telkom Kenya, according to social media posts.

In March, countries across Africa suffered a major internet outage after multiple undersea telecommunication cables reported failures according to network operators and internet watch groups.

NetBlocks said data transmission and measurement showed a major disruption to international transits, “likely at or near the subsea network cable landing points.”

Safaricom did not acknowledge if they had a problem only telling their customers who reported the downtime that they were working on it.

“Our sincere apologies for the experience. We are looking into the issue for resolution as soon as possible. Kindly bear with us,” they replied to almost all those who inquired.

Africa leads mobile device web traffic in the world, with many of the continent’s businesses relying on the internet to deliver services to their customers.