Internet Disruptions in Africa & Asia from AAE-1 Fault
Somalia, Djibouti, Tanzania, Madagascar and Pakistan among the affected countries
June 9, 2022
Internet connections in parts of Africa and East Asia were noticeably slower on Tuesday, probably due to a major breakdown “consistent with a disruption to international transits”, a monitoring service has said.
Somalia, Djibouti, Tanzania, Madagascar and Pakistan were among the affected countries.
“Ongoing disruption to internet connectivity in multiple countries, with high impact to Africa, Asia and Oceania; the incident is being attributed to outages affecting the AAE1 [Asia-Africa-Europe 1] and SMW5 [South-East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5] submarine cable networks,” Netblocks wrote on Twitter.
The AAE1 undersea cable is one of four major systems that connect 19 countries on the three continents.
It stretches for more than 23,000 kilometres, according to a report by the Submarine Telecoms Forum, a publication that specializes in underwater cables.
About 380 undersea cables form the backbone of the internet but experts have long issued warnings that they are vulnerable to major breakdowns, which, in the past, have involved ship anchors, collapsing undersea rock formations and tectonic activity.
Pakistan's Telecommunications authority said two cuts to the AAE-1 and the SMW5 cables near Egypt had been repaired. Another cut to the Imewe cable near Italy is still being repaired.
It said all internet services in Pakistan had returned to normal.