Ship's Anchor Sinks the Internet in East Africa

Monday, 27 Feb 2012 | 4:23 PM ET
Mombasa, Kenya
Mombasa, Kenya

A ship's anchor is to blame for Internet disruptions that could last days in six East African countries, according to a report.

The anchor hit fibre-optic cables off Kenya's coast in a restricted area while the ship was waiting to dock in Mombasa, the BBC reports.

The misplaced anchor is now causing a slowdown of high-speed Internet connections in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia and in Juba, the capital of the Republic of South Sudan, according to the report.

Internet connections are expected to slow by 20 percent and it could be two weeks before the cables are repaired.

High-speed Internet is relatively new in East Africa. There are three major cable networks, the EASSY, TEAMS (The Eastern African Marine System) and SEACOM, that were implemented in 2009 and 2010.

Cables that are run TEAMS were affected, according to the BBC.

*An earlier version of this story reported cables run by EASSY were also affected. The story has been corrected to make clear that cables by EASSY were not affected.

email: cadie.thompson@nbcuni.com


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