Destroyed Cables in Red Sea Result in Internet Downtime in Kenya.

The recent internet outage stemmed from the failure of two cables located in the Red Sea. Ben Roberts, the Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, highlighted that three cable system providers had yet to rectify the cuts causing the disruption. Roberts emphasized that all sub-sea capacity between East Africa and South Africa was offline at the time of his statement.

Specifically, Roberts confirmed faults in the Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) cable and the Seacom submarine cable. Notably, these faults were observed to have occurred simultaneously. EASSy, spanning 10,000 kilometers along the East Coast of Africa, serves as a vital backhaul system for numerous landlocked countries and facilitates extensive connectivity in the East African region. Conversely, SEACOM, a 17,000-kilometer submarine cable, links South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Djibouti, France, and India.

Roberts succinctly summarized the situation: “EASSy Cable – Fault confirmed, Seacom Cable – Observing Fault that occurred at the same time, 3 cable cuts in Red Sea (Seacom, EIG, AAE1) remain unrepaired.”

The outage had significant repercussions, with Tanzania experiencing widespread blackouts in certain areas, and users encountering intermittent service disruptions. Some service providers managed to offer limited access, but for many, the blackout was comprehensive.

This incident isn’t isolated; sub-sea cables have faced similar issues previously. In March 2024, Kenyans were warned of a potential two-month internet disruption due to a cable break in the Red Sea. Prior to this, on February 26, another cable fault had prompted a similar warning regarding potential internet outages.