Undersea Cable Damage Causes Internet Outages Across Africa

The West Africa Cable System, MainOne and ACE sea cables — arteries for telecommunications data — were all affected on Thursday, triggering outages and connectivity issues for mobile operators and internet service providers, according to data from internet analysis firms including NetBlocks, Kentik and Cloudflare. The cause of the cable faults has not yet been determined.

Data show a major disruption to connectivity in eight West African countries, with Ivory Coast, Liberia and Benin being the most affected, NetBlocks, an internet watchdog, said in a post on X. Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon are among other countries impacted. Several companies have also reported service disruptions in South Africa. “This is a devastating blow to internet connectivity along the west coast of Africa, which will be operating in a degraded state for weeks to come,” said Doug Madory, director of internet analysis firm Kentik. The cable faults off the Ivory Coast come less than a month after three telecommunications cables were severed in the Red Sea, highlighting the vulnerability of critical communications infrastructure.

14