Dire prospects for resumption of normal internet services



from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
Western Cape Bureau
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – A GLOBAL security think-tank has offered a dim forecast on the resumption of normal internet services in the continent after massive cable failures.

Crisis24 forecast that while internet services were recovering after part of Africa’s internet traffic was rerouted onto alternative cables, the restoration of normal services might take some weeks.

“While internet services are improving, the resumption of normal services may take several weeks.”

“Further disruptions are likely, ranging from slower network connections to full outages,” the think-tank projected.

It stated that disruptions to commercial activities were likely until full services resume, while transport might also be impacted, including airport operations.

While Crisis24 argues the exact cause of the cable failures remained unclear but could be related to seismic activity, it is widely accepted the outages are a consequence of cable damage impacting the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE), South Atlantic 3 (SAT3) and West Africa Cable System (WACS) submarine cables.

Affected countries are experiencing varying levels of disruption. Telecom Namibia is one of operators that has rerouted its services to mitigate the impact of the external network disruptions.

“While this ensures continued connectivity, you (clients) may experience some temporary changes in network performance,” it stated.

Disruptions are most severe in West Africa, but services have largely resumed in some countries.

Since the cable failure on March 14, affected countries included Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, Liberia, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa and Togo.

In Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, Globacom appeared to make the most of the setback suffered by other cables to celebrate the “resilient construction and durability” of its Glo 1 cable as the reasons the damage did not compromise it.

“Glo 1-powered financial institutions, internet service providers and data consumers have all carried on with business as usual.”

– CAJ News

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