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East African Region Still Experiencing Slow/Intermittent Internet

Uganda: Pictured a person using internet to access a web page on Google. Photo by: Humphrey Mpairwe

Pictured a person accessing a web page on Google on a mobile phone. (Photo by: Humphrey Mpairwe)

Internet service providers across East Africa acknowledge there has been a problem with the region experiencing slow/intermittent internet following users’ outcries. The patchy service was a result of faults in the under-sea cables that connect the region to the rest of the world through South Africa.

According to BBC, Cloudflare Radar, which monitors internet connectivity, said of all the East African countries, Tanzania was one of the worst affected with its traffic falling to 30% of expected levels. Citizen, Tanzania’s newspaper, described this, as an “internet blackout [that] has affected major network channels”.

Users in Kenya responding to the situation said it is time they embraced Elon Musk’s, Starlink. One user Samwel Wekesa (@bungomaduke) on X (formerly known as Twitter) posted, “Safaricom network has slowed down. I think it’s time for we to embrace the use of Starlink.” It wasn’t just Wekesa, through the posts we saw on the platform [X] Kenyan users believed it was time they embraced Starlink.

Airtel Uganda said it was aware of the “intermittent internet service” and is working with its partners to have the service resolved as soon as possible.

We are still waiting for comments from telcos and ISPs.

It has been 27 hours since the region began experiencing slow/intermittent internet. According to a statement that was sent to PC Tech Magazine earlier Sunday Morning, on May 12th, 2024 at about 10:30 hours EST (5:30 AM EAT) a cable that runs alongside the coast of East Africa, known as Eassy, had been cut some 45km (28 miles) north of the South African port city of Durban. Liquid Intelligent Technologies also confirmed this, ruling out the idea that it could be sabotaged, and said it was rather an unhappy coincidence.

The cause remains unclear making customers more frustrated. However, gradually the service should improve as data is being re-routed.

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