Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Anchor falls on Internet in East Africa, disrupts access in six countries - BlogPost - The Washington Post

A ship anchor. ( )After a ship dropped its anchor onto a fiber-optic cable off of Kenya’s coast Monday, six countries in East Africa saw their Internet “severely disrupted,” the BBC reports. The problem could take up to 14 days to repair. In the meantime, connections in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia and part of South Sudan have slowed to a crawl.

The mishap occurred after the ship entered a restricted area while waiting to enter Mombasa. The affected undersea cable is one of three that were delivered to the region since 2009. The cables have provided much faster Internet access — in the first 12 months after they arrived, Internet subscriptions in Kenya jumped from 1.8 million to 3.1 million.

Watch how these cables get laid below:

(Via Geekosystem.)

But although Africa now boasts 139 million Internet users, in large part thanks to the cables, that’s small potatoes compared with the access available in and number of users in the rest of the world:

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