Undersea cable outages disrupt East Africa connectivity


Undersea cables

from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya Bureau
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – SOME East African countries are experiencing network glitches that mobile network operators blame on undersea cable outages.

With the issues coinciding with Kenya experiencing its worst demonstrations in years, it was feared authorities in the country had reneged on a pledge made on Monday not to disrupt the internet.

Airtel Networks and Safaricom Kenya on Tuesday confirmed the outages.

“We are experiencing data service intermittency due to an undersea cable outage affecting internet traffic. Our technical teams are working to resolve this on priority,” Airtel stated.

Safaricom reported an outage of two of its subsea cables.

“We have activated redundancy measures to minimize service interruption and keep you connected as we await the full restoration of the cables,” Safaricom stated.

It confirmed reduced internet speeds and was wary of an effect on the M-Pesa and Safaricom apps.

In the early hours of Wednesday, MTN Uganda reported a degraded service on all its internet services. The operator said this was due to an outage caused by its connectivity supply through Kenya.

“Our technical teams and partners are working jointly to resolve the issue in the shortest time possible,” the MTN subsidiary reported.

Earlier, Netblocks had stated live network data showed a major disruption to internet connectivity in Kenya.

“The incident comes amidst a deadly crackdown by police on #RejectFinanceBill2024 protesters a day after authorities claimed there would be no internet shutdown.”

Netblocks reported the internet disruption had impacted Kenya as well as neighboring countries including Uganda and Burundi.

“The incident is likely to limit coverage of events on the ground where protests are held,” it stated.

Usually a stable country, Kenya is experiencing protests mostly by youth against the Finance Bill 2024, which critics believe adds more tax burden to citizens.

There has been local and international outcry after police killed an unspecified number of people since last Thursday.

This is the biggest test thus far to the government of President William Ruto, who came to office in 2022.

– CAJ News

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