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Cable Damage Takes West Africa Offline

Cable Damage Takes West Africa Offline

Just a couple of weeks ago, a new cable brought East Africa online. Now, problems with an undersea cable have caused communications disruption in several West African countries – specifically Benin, Togo, Niger and Nigeria.

The damage is to the SAT-3 cable which runs from Portugal and Spain to South Africa, via West Africa, the BBC reports, and in Nigeria it’s taken out around 70% of the bandwidth, forcing companies to use satellite links to keep in touch.

The cable is 15,000 km long, and touches on several West African countries on its route.

"The rest of the system is unaffected by this fault," said a representative for Telkom South Africa, one of the SAT-3 shareholders.

It’s likely to be two weeks before a ship arrives to investigate the fault. Meanwhile Benin is routing traffic, and Togo and Niger remain offline.