East Africa: Kenya Says Efforts Underway to Restore Internet in East Africa Following Submarine Cable Cuts

Kenya's telecommunications industry regulator said on Monday that efforts are underway to restore internet services that have been disrupted across East Africa.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) confirmed that a deep-sea fiber cut occurred on Sunday at South Africa's Mtunzini teleport station, affecting a number of fiber cables serving Kenya, including the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) and the Seacom cables.

"We wish to inform individual and corporate consumers that the recovery process has since commenced, but internet intermittency and slow speeds may remain in the coming few days before services are fully recovered," CA Director General David Mugonyi said in a statement issued in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Mugonyi directed the service providers to take proactive steps to secure alternative routes for their traffic and is monitoring the situation closely to ensure that incoming and outbound internet connectivity is available.

According to Ben Roberts, group chief technology and innovation officer at Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a pan-African internet services provider, the outages on the two submarine fiber cables that connect Kenya and South Africa severely impacted internet services in nations in East Africa.

Ben added that three crucial submarine cables in the Red Sea, Seacom, Europe India Gateway (EIG), and Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1), have also suffered cuts and remain unrepaired, leading to the widespread outage.

The immediate cause of the faults, which are reportedly affecting the Eassy and Seacom cable systems that run along Africa's east coast, could not be established.

However, according to West Indian Ocean Cable Company operating (Wiocc), an investor in the Eassy cable system, Eassy has experienced a cut between South Africa and Mozambique.

Kenyan operator Safaricom, which confirmed the outage on Sunday, said they were working on restoring a stable internet connection.

"We have experienced an outage on one of the undersea cables that deliver internet traffic in and out of the country. We have since activated redundancy measures to minimize service interruption and keep you connected as we await the full restoration of the cable," Safaricom said in a notice.

"You may, however, experience reduced internet speeds," it added.

Mugonyi said the East African Marine Systems (TEAMS) cable, which has not been affected by the fiber cut, is currently being utilized for local traffic flow while redundancy on the South Africa route has been activated to minimize the impact.

This is the second time Africa has experienced a major fiber cut this year.

In March, a suspected underwater rock slid off the coast of Cote d'Ivoire, causing several submarine cables to go offline.

The outage impacted 13 African countries located on the West African seaboard, resulting in either degraded services or near-total internet outages.

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