Breaks in submarine cables caused millions of Americans to have internet access problems

The Ghana stock exchange closed an hour later than usual due to connectivity issues that limited trading

Many African countries have experienced a cut in access to the internet since Thursday morning, due to the fault detected in the submarine cables, as reported by the operators of the countries and confirmed by journalists from the French-Presse agency. MTN, the South African operator, said that “the damage to several submarine cables has affected the quality of calls in many West African countries”, because it is working on “operations” to change cars from other roads.

Ghana’s stock exchange closed an hour later than usual due to connection problems that disrupted business, the quality of the connection dropped below 20% of normal levels in Liberia and Benin, while in Côte d’Ivoire calls well fell to 3% when compared to the expected. and normal costs.

The most affected countries include Liberia, Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast, with a link also noted, although less affected, in Togo, Cameroon, Gabon, Namibia and Niger, according to the NGO Netblocks, specialize in international cybersecurity.

France-Presse journalists across Africa have been affected by the crash, especially in Abidjan, the financial capital of Côte d’Ivoire. South African operator Vodacom reported “connection problems with some customers”, while a Nigerian cement company was forced to cancel a profit review meeting.

The problem is in the destruction of four of the main submarine information cables that serve the entire country, including the West African Cable System. At the beginning, the affected power lines were close to the Ivory Coast and although the cause of the damage is not clear, according to geologist Peter Talling, who is the head of research in the area, the This fault can be extended to the underground water in the land. Trou sans Fond submarine canyon, near the Ivory Coast.

The company MainOne, which operates one of the West African cables, says that it has been determined for people (including fishing) and believes that the damage is caused by seismic activity on the edge the ocean. The crash is not the only problem in the Internet that, at the moment, has the potential to affect connections around the world.

It is known that the Houthis, a rebel group from Yemen, fired missiles at a cargo ship in the Red Sea and the ship’s anchor caused damage to submarine cables in the area, responsible for infrastructure that is also “essential” to the ship. Transfer information from Asia to Europe, according to HGC Global Communications. The outages affect around 25% of traffic through HGC, with HGC indicating that it has already started rerouting traffic.

Submarine cables carry 99% of the world’s Internet connections, data critical to business. Africa, however, is particularly vulnerable to these types of cuts. Traffic is more difficult to change when compared, for example, with the cable that connects North America and Europe, which can be easily recreated by connecting two dozen others.

African countries “have less chance of making mistakes”, says Paul Broadsky from the American research company TeleGeography, quoted by The Economist, there are only five submarine power lines (including one construction) across West Africa between South Africa and Nigeria. The Ghana National Communications Authority estimates, for example, that the problem will take about five weeks to resolve.

These cuts significantly increase the African continent’s reliance on submarine fiber optic cables for all its digital communications, highlighting the challenges of telecommunications across Africa, particularly than when compared to Europe.

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