Major African Internet connections disrupted as two vital undersea cables fail

In the vicinity of the Congo River’s mouth, a recent underwater landslide took place within the Congo Canyon, a significant submarine gorge. Kentik, a company specializing in network observability and monitoring, reported that this incident led to the interruption of two essential undersea cables responsible for delivering internet connectivity to Africa.

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Near the mouth of the Congo River, a recent underwater landslide in the Congo Canyon disrupted two vital submarine cables that deliver internet connectivity to Africa, as reported by Kentik, a network observability and monitoring company.

The impacted cables are the SAT-3 and WACS cables, with SAT-3 experiencing the initial outage, followed by WACS a few hours later. This incident led to the loss of international internet bandwidth along the western coast of Africa. Additionally, Namibia in southwest Africa was also affected by the cable disruptions, impacting the connectivity of Telecom Namibia.

Kentik Market Intelligence (KMI) has also documented these developments. KMI utilizes BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) to assist users in understanding the intricate dynamics within the global routing table. It accomplishes this by identifying Autonomous Systems (ASes) operating in specific countries, analyzing their relationships with providers, customers, and peers, and notifying users of any modifications to these relationships. In the context of the recent cable cut incident, Telecom Namibia experienced the loss of its transit providers, Cogent (AS174) and BICS (AS6774), due to the WACS cable disruption. To restore service, Telecom Namibia had to activate emergency service through Angola Cables (AS37468). These significant changes were highlighted and analyzed within KMI Insights, as pointed out by Doug Madory, Kentik’s Director of Internet Analysis.