• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Undersea cable cuts affect Internet service in Nigeria, others

Undersea cable cuts affect Internet service in Nigeria, others

Multiple major undersea cable breaks have disrupted Internet connectivity in Nigeria and several West African Countries.

MTN Group and sources in MainOne revealed this on Wednesday. This disruption is affecting banks and subscribers of some network operators in Nigeria, who are experiencing an Internet downtime.

Bayobab Group, a subsidiary of MTN Group, noted that it is working to reroute its traffic through alternative network paths “and engaging with our consortium partners to expedite the repair process for the damaged cables.”

Sources at MainOne said the digital infrastructure company is working on the problem and assessing the number of customers affected.

“We are working on it, trying to observe it. We don’t have an official communique for it,” one source explained.

The source said the service provider provider with a presence in Nigeria, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire is trying to get its services back online.

According to Netblocks, a site that tracks Internet outages, West and Central Africa are experiencing an Internet outage.

On one of its X accounts, Cloudflare, an Internet firm, said, “There seems to be a pattern in the timing of the disruptions, impacting from the north to the south of Africa.”

Undersea cables are critical infrastructure for internet connectivity, carrying vast amounts of data traffic across continents. However, they are susceptible to damage, including accidental cuts, natural disasters, or technical malfunctions. Disruptions to these cables can significantly impact businesses, government operations, and individual users.

This is not the first time a subsea cable will get damaged in the region. In 2023, two submarine cable systems, which also service the Nigerian market, suffered damage off the coast of West Africa. According to My Broadband, the West African Cable System (WACS) and the South Atlantic 3 (SAT-3) undersea cables suffered breaks between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon due to two separate rock falls in the Congo Canyon.

In 2020, WACS suffered cuts, slowing down Internet services in the country. On its X handle, MTN Nigeria, one of the affected providers, apologised to its subscribers. “Our engineers are working to resolve these challenges as soon as possible…”

Recently, multiple fibre cuts shut out MTN Nigeria subscribers from making calls and browsing the Internet.

Funso Aina, senior manager of external relations at MTN Nigeria, said, “Our customers have been experiencing challenges connecting to the network due to a major service outage caused by multiple fibre cuts, affecting voice and data services.”