The 13 Countries Affected By Internet Outage

Since the widespread internet outages  across African countries, attributed to damages sustained by the MainOne and ACE sea cables, vital conduits for telecommunications data. These damages led to connectivity disruptions for mobile carriers and internet service providers in the region. Across these nations, there are varying degrees of internet disruptions.

The use of fiber optic cables has become universal in Africa albeit with significant discrepancies across different regions. This is a result of the heavy investments made by both public and private organizations within the last decade, explained Jess Auerbach Jahajeeah, an associate professor at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, during an interview with The Conversation.

“Basically, all internet for regular people relies on fiber optic cables. Even landlocked countries rely on the network because they have agreements with countries with landing stations – highly secured buildings close to the ocean where the cable comes up from underground and is plugged into terrestrial systems,” she said.

She also went ahead to note that some region’s geographic location is the reason why they are less affected by the cable damages than others.

“Based on an interactive map of fiber optic cables, it’s clear that South Africa is in a relatively good position. When the breakages happened, the network was affected for a few hours before the internet traffic was rerouted,” Jess Auerbach stated.

“But, in several African countries – including Sierra Leone and Liberia – most of the cables don’t have spurs (the equivalent of off-ramps on the road), so only one fiber optic cable comes into the country. Internet traffic from these countries stops when the cable breaks,” she added.

This begs the question of which African countries are hit the hardest by the internet outage. According to Citinews Africa, there are four categories of the severity of the internet outage, these are severe, high, medium, and low.


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