By Ismail Akwei, Africa News
June 14, 2017
Congo-Brazzaville is facing nationwide internet disruptions and slowdowns which started on Friday, June 9, 2017, after a damage to the country’s main submarine cables.
Network providers confirmed days after the outage that the problem was caused by a submarine cable cut off in the Atlantic Ocean near the economic capital Pointe-Noire.
The major internet service provider, MTN Congo, sent text messages to its users on Sunday saying: “the difficulties in accessing stable internet connection were caused by a submarine cable cut.”
Another message was sent to users on Monday saying: “Internet is available but limited.”
Cedric Nzimbou, a network engineer with SkyTic Telecom – one of the country’s major network providers – told Africanews that the “12-kilometer fibre optic West African Cable System (WACS) that connects the country through Pointe-Noire to the international cable was cut off by a fishing vessel”.
He added that network providers were forced to provide internet using V-SAT which is slow and expensive as a result of huge taxes paid to use the service.
“A team of technicians was dispatched by boat on Monday and are currently repairing the damaged submarine cables. It will take between two to five weeks to repair,” he said.