Damages to International Undersea Cables Across East and West Africa Resulted in Slow Internet Speed

Submarine Cables got damaged in West and East Africa

Many African internet providers, including MTN, are suffering from internet outages caused by submarine cables across East & West Africa that were damaged.

MTN Nigeria has sent an apology message to all its customers, citing that the current difficulties experiencing with internet speed and accessing data services is being caused by damage to international undersea cables across East and West Africa.

The Nigerian telecom company further assure customers that repairs have taken effect to ensure internet services are restore as fast as possible.

MTN message to customers

Furthermore, this development does not only affect West and East Africa, it’s also extended to South Africa. Seacom, a South African internet provider, also expressed its current internet situations to its customers. The company said “we’re currently being affected by the outage via the West African Cable System, a submarine network.”

MainOne, a major internet connectivity providers for many Nigerian banks, has also expressed that its Ghana-located Fibre take part in the submarine cables damages, causing many major Nigerian banks’ services go offline including the USSD banking.

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Zenith Bank are also affected by the internet disruption. FCMB wrote to its customers that FCMB Mobile, Internet Banking (for Personal and Business) and Agent Banking are currently down. Nevertheless, customers can visit their “branches and alternative channels (like FCMB ATMs & POS)” to carryout banking transactions.

Zenith Bank, on the hand, console its customers about the ongoing downtime situations with their internet banking platform and mobile banking app. The bank said “we are currently working with our internet service providers to reroute traffic through alternative routes and resolve the situation as soon as possible.”

However, according to statement from Seacom, many African internet providers have dived to alternate paths. They rerouted their traffics through Europe to Maputo and South Africa. Seacom added that if these paths fail, there’s great risk.

Vodacom, a major telecommunication and internet provider company in South Africa, also confirmed that multiple subsea cable failures between South Africa and Europe were impacting several network providers. According to TC Report, several other submarine cables such as AAE1, EIG have also suffered outages across Africa.

However, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) reassures Nigerians that repairs have begun and internet services are gradually restoring. The commission explained that the internet disruption was caused by several international undersea cables cuts that occurred somewhere in Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal, with an attendant disruption in Portugal.

NCC also added that undersea cables supplying services from Europe to the East Coast of Africa, like Seacom Cables, Europe India Gateway (EIG) Cables, and Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE1) Cables, have also been cut at some point around the Red Sea, all together resulting in degradation of services across African Nations.

Many African countries are currently affected. Countries like Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa Toga, Benin republic and many more are affected. However, NCC cited that the cable operators had promised to repair affected routes and restore network as fast as possible.