Undersea cable failure knocks out internet services in Africa

Several undersea cables failed on Thursday, disrupting internet services in West and Central Africa, operators reported. For example, connection rates in Côte d’Ivoire dropped to about 4% in the morning, according to tracker NetBlocks. In Liberia, basic internet services and social media are not available in much of the country, the BBC reported. International bank transfers are affected and international voice calls are restricted. “It seems like 50 percent of my life has disappeared today,” said a resident of the capital, Monrovia.

There is no word yet on the cause of the cable failure.According to statistics, at least a dozen countries have been affected guardian. Such outages have occurred before. But NetBlocks’ Isik Mater said “today’s disruption is indicative of a much larger disruption (and) is one of the most severe,” according to the Associated Press. Matt said the impact of outages could snowball as networks try to reroute around trouble spots, sometimes cutting into available capacity in other countries. Africa has a higher proportion of internet traffic on mobile devices than any other continent, and businesses are particularly reliant on it. (More internet infrastructure stories.)

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