Africa Grid Overwhelmed as Two Undersea Cables Malfunction

  • Major African Cities Experiencing Severe Connectivity Problems
  • MTN says aware of problem, South Africa network not affected

Two of the five undersea cables that provide African nations with telecommunications services are malfunctioning and causing Internet outages across much of the continent, according to two people familiar with the situation.

The Seacom Cable, which runs down the east coast of the continent, and the West African Cable System, are experiencing severe connectivity problems, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public yet. MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest phone company, and Vodacom Group Ltd. both said in e-mailed statements that they had been notified of an issue with the cables.

“Vodacom has been notified that the WACS and Seacom cables have gone down and both companies have dispatched repair teams,” company spokesman Tshepo Ramodibe said by phone. “Vodacom is unaffected, but many Internet service providers have been affected due to the traffic backlog.”

Seacom spokeswoman Marle Prinsloo said the company will issue a statement shortly.

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