Internet Disruptions Plague Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda: A Regional Crisis

Internet users in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda are griping about shoddy connectivity, as service providers in East Africa admit there’s an issue. Companies assure they are addressing the problem. The spotty service is due to faults in the undersea cables connecting the region to the world via South Africa, expert Ben Roberts explained to the BBC. A similar incident occurred in parts of West and Southern Africa in March. Cloudflare Radar noted Tanzania as one of the worst-hit countries, with internet traffic dropping to 30% of normal levels. Tanzania’s Citizen newspaper described the situation as an “internet blackout affecting major network channels.” On X, formerly Twitter, providers are dealing with complaints from irate customers. Airtel Kenya responded to a user asking about watching a soccer match, mentioning they are working on fixing the “network issue” and apologizing. Safaricom in Kenya acknowledged facing a challenge, while Airtel Uganda acknowledged the intermittent internet service. MTN Rwanda reported experiencing degradation of international links. Malawi, Mozambique, and Madagascar were also impacted, per Cloudflare Radar. Mr. Roberts of Liquid Intelligent Technologies confirmed that the Eassy cable along East Africa’s coast was cut near Durban, South Africa, with another cable also affected. Sabotage was ruled out, with Roberts calling it an unfortunate coincidence. Alternate cables connecting East Africa to Europe are in use, and services should gradually improve as data is redirected. However, the loss of the Eassy link had a significant impact due to data centers in South Africa. In March, widespread outages hit countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Ghana, attributed to cable failures, causing frustration for numerous customers across the continent.

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