Canalbox Submarine Cable Cuts Cause Internet Outages Across Africa

Editorial Desk
By Editorial Desk 3 Min Read

Canalbox, an internet service provider operating across several African countries, has acknowledged major disruptions to its services due to cuts in the company’s submarine cables in West Africa.

This incident has led to sluggish internet connectivity for millions of Canalbox customers, sparking widespread outage concerns across the continent.

Canalbox Rwanda released a statement confirming the impact of the submarine cable cuts, stating that technical teams are actively working to restore services as swiftly as possible.

The disruptions, which commenced on Thursday, have left customers grappling with slow speeds and unresponsive internet connections for the past three days.

Operating in countries such as Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda, Togo, Gabon, Congo, Burkina Faso, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Canalbox is now leveraging its backup links to ensure continued internet availability while efforts to fully restore services are underway. Despite this contingency measure, users may experience reduced speeds during this period.

During a press conference, David Serugendo, Customer Experience Manager at Canal Box, emphasized the continental nature of the issue and assured clients that it is being addressed comprehensively.

Reports from Bloomberg highlighted that the disruption also affected crucial sea cables such as the West Africa Cable System, MainOne, and ACE, impacting not only Canalbox but also mobile operators and other internet service providers.

Furthermore, Microsoft Corp. reported disruptions to its cloud services and Microsoft 365 applications in Africa due to multiple fiber cable cuts along the west coast and the Red Sea, leading to reduced capacity supporting regions in South Africa. Repair efforts are underway, but the incidents have collectively affected internet capacity across the continent.

This is not the first time such disruptions have occurred in the region. Last year, similar incidents occurred near the mouth of the Congo River, resulting in significant downtime for repair.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) highlighted that when fiber optic cables are severed, data transmission is interrupted, impacting internet connectivity and communication services.

The repair process involves identifying the break, splicing the fibers, and restoring connections, with the duration varying based on the extent of the damage.

As Canalbox and other affected entities strive to rectify the situation, customers are advised to exercise patience while services are being restored to their full capacity.

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