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Safaricom explains nationwide internet disruption

Recent reports indicate that Kenyans are experiencing disruptions in internet connectivity

A diver repairing an undersea cable

Since Sunday, May 12, Kenyans have been facing significant disruptions in internet connectivity.

This has caused many users to double check their wifi routers, recharge their phones & also restart their devices trying to figure out the problem.

There is nothing wrong with your devices. These internet issues have been traced back to damage in several undersea cables, which are crucial for transmitting data in and out of the country.

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The cuts in these cables have resulted in slow and intermittent internet services, affecting countless users across the nation and spilling over to the larger East Africa.

Safaricom, a leading internet service provider in Kenya, acknowledged experiencing an outage due to damage to one of the undersea cables that manage internet traffic to and from the country.

In response to this disruption, Safaricom activated various redundancy measures aimed at minimizing service interruptions.

The company informed their customers that while they work towards fully restoring the damaged cable, there may still be periods of reduced internet speeds.

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“We have experienced an outage on one of the undersea cables that deliver internet traffic in and out of the country. We have since activated redundancy measures to minimise service interruption and keep you connected as we await the full restoration of the cable.

"You may, however, experience reduced internet speeds. We thank you for your patience and understanding,” the company said in a statement.

Undersea cables, also known as submarine communications cables, are fiber-optic cables placed on the seabed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean and sea.

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These cables are critical components of the global internet infrastructure, enabling high-speed data transmission across continents.

The primary role of undersea cables in global internet connectivity cannot be overstated. They are responsible for nearly all transoceanic data traffic, including internet and telephone services.

Unlike satellite transmission which can experience significant delays, undersea cables provide the fastest and most reliable route for digital communication, supporting everything from simple email exchanges to complex financial transactions and streaming high-definition videos.

The efficiency of these cables is due to their design, which allows for large amounts of data to be sent with minimal loss.

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Moreover, they are crucial for redundancy and network reliability, as multiple cables usually service the same route to ensure connectivity is maintained even if one cable fails.

According to Ben Roberts the Group Chief Technology Information Officer CTIO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies, all undersea capacity between East Africa and South Africa was affected by the cut.

The cuts occured on the EASSy Cable, Seacom Cable and the Red Sea (Seacom, EIG, AAE1) cables.

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The disruption has had a widespread impact on both residential and business customers throughout Kenya.

Many individuals have experienced slower internet speeds and intermittent connectivity, which affects daily activities such as browsing, streaming, and communicating online.

This slowdown is particularly challenging for services that rely on real-time data transmission, such as video calls and online gaming.

For businesses, the impact is even more pronounced. Companies that depend on cloud services, online transactions, or operate in the digital marketplace have faced significant disruptions.

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This can lead to delays in service delivery, lost revenue, and reduced productivity.

Additionally, businesses that utilize internet-dependent technologies to connect with partners and customers globally have also experienced setbacks, affecting their operational efficiency and potentially their reputational standing.

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