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East Africa faces Internet outages after undersea cables severed

Posted by malcolm on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 12:37

Nine East African countries suffered slow Internet speeds after four undersea fibre optic cables were severed.

The East African Marine Systems (TEAMS) cable was cut on Saturday after a ship dropped anchor in a restricted area off the coast of Kenya.

The TEAMS cable was heavily loaded with traffic diverted from three other undersea cables - the South East Asia Middle East Western Europe-3 (SMW-3), the Europe India Gateway (EIG) and the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSY) - which were cut only 10 days before, by “malicious” actors according to some sources. However, CEO of West Indian Ocean Cable Co., Chris Wood, told the Wall Street Journal that he believed the cuts to be the result of “accidental incidents”.

The East African outages highlight the Internet’s vulnerability to physical damage to critical infrastructure.

With over 770 members connecting from over 76 different countries worldwide, LINX members have access to direct routes from a large number of diverse international peering partners.

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