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Sections of Internet users locked out as various ISPs face outage

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Fibre cuts have this weekend left sections of internet users in Uganda, either running on ‘snail-speed’ connections or completely unable to access the Internet.

Users on social media and local ICT forum, I-Network, posted various complaints, specifically about Africell, Smile and Airtel connections.

Airtel Uganda PRO Sandor Walusimbi was not immediately available for comment as his known phone wasn’t available.

But MTN said on Twitter that their network wasn’t interrupted and quickly highlighted that they are the only ISP in Uganda offering “geographical redundancy with three Internet uplinks”.

Although the undersea fibre optic cables brought high speed Internet to Uganda, they are susceptible to damage either undersea or along the connections to the end users in Uganda, and several ISPs revert to satellite backup connections. Because of the high cost of maintaining both the satellite and fibre connections, many providers had cut down their satellite capacity so internet grinds to a halt when fiber is down.

It is, however, business as usual for MTN internet subscribers since MTN has three alternative fibre cables. This means that whether there is a Local Fiber cut within Uganda or a Fiber cut in Kenya or Rwanda, or an undersea cable cut, MTN can use an alternative route to still provide its customers with “World-class Internet”.

In February 2013, MTN commissioned its Fibre network at Katuna Border in Kabale district and has since got an additional submarine cable SAT-3 to Rwanda via the Tanzania route from Dar es Salaam.

Internet downtime is every business’ nightmare, and usually results in loss of time and money that you can’t recover, so it pays to be connected to a service with multiple backup.

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