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Congo-Brazzaville facing major internet outage: submarine cables damaged

Congo-Brazzaville facing major internet outage: submarine cables damaged

Republic of the Congo

<h3>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.</h3> <p>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.</p> <p>The major internet service provider, <span class="caps">MTN</span> Congo, sent text messages to its users on Sunday saying: “the difficulties in accessing stable internet connection were caused by a submarine cable cut.”</p> <p>Another message was sent to users on Monday saying: “Internet is available but limited.”</p> <p>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 (<span class="caps">WACS</span>) that connects the country through Pointe-Noire to the international cable was cut off by a fishing vessel”.</p> <p>He added that network providers were forced to provide internet using V-<span class="caps">SAT</span> which is slow and expensive as a result of huge taxes paid to use the service.</p> <p>“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.</p> <p>Local media reported that the damage to the submarine cables was caused by a suspected Chinese fishing vessel.</p> <p>The country’s communication authority has not made any official statement yet.</p> <p>Internet-based businesses have been affected as well as communications companies.</p> <p>Congo-Brazzaville is in Central Africa and bordered by five countries and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, where its second largest city – Pointe-Noire – connects to the rest of the world by sea.</p>

A team of technicians were dispatched by boat on Monday and are currently repairing the damaged submarine cables. It will take between two to five weeks to repair.

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