Internet disruptions enter day two following major sub-sea fibre cut

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 13 May 2024 at 10:27

Internet users in the East African region continue to grapple with intermittent connection following a major subsea fibre cut reported on Saturday, May 12, 2024.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania confirmed on Monday that the technical problem had not been resolved even as internet users continued to complain of frustrating low speeds.

More than 80 million internet users are reported to have been affected by the internet service outage that started at around 10:00 am on Saturday.

Rwanda’s leading telecommunication company, MTN Rwanda, said it was monitoring the situation to provide its customers with normal internet services.

“To our customers, we would like to inform you that the technical problem with the Internet in East Africa has not yet been resolved. We are still monitoring it to provide you with normal internet services. We apologize for the inconvenience caused,” MTN Rwanda said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Airtel Rwanda users have also reported slow internet speeds on social media.

In Kenya, leading telco Safaricom confirmed that its internet services had also been affected following 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 minimise service interruption and keep you connected as we await the full restoration of the cable,” Safaricom said, adding, “You may, however, experience reduced internet speeds.”

Responding to customer complaints on Monday the company said the problem was yet to be resolved.

“We are aware of the challenge, and request patience as resolution is ongoing.”

Airtel Uganda also said it was aware of the "intermittent internet service" linked to failures affecting the SEACOM and EASSy subsea cable systems.

Earlier, Cloudflare Radar, which monitors internet connectivity, reported that Tanzania was among the worst-affected countries with traffic falling to 30 per cent of expected levels.

Nape Nnauye, Tanzania’s minister of information, communication and information technology confirmed the service disruption on Sunday, saying the outage was caused by a fault on the cables between Mozambique and South Africa.

"There are ongoing efforts to solve the problem," he said. "As they continue to solve the problem, we will have very low access to internet and international voice calls."

Other countries that have reported internet service outages include Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar.