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Check out faulty submarine cables that have caused internet service disruptions in Ghana over the past ten years.

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Check out faulty submarine cables that have caused internet service disruptions in Ghana over the past ten years

On Thursday, March 14, Ghana and other West African countries experienced a disruption in internet services, one of which has never occurred.

Experts described the situation as a “huge blow” as four submarine cables responsible for transmitting internet service to some West African countries broke down leading to the severe internet disruption.

The National Communications Authority at a press briefing on Sunday, March 24, 2024 said the incident was the first of its kind to have occurred as four submarine cables have never broken down as experienced. Director General of the Authority, Dr. Joe Anokye further highlighted that although submarine cables do experience faults, a simultaneous break down of four submarine cables have never happened before.

He listed some scenarios where only one cable have experienced fault in the last ten years in Ghana’s territorial waters.

June 2014: The submarine cable, ACE, experienced a fault which did not pose a severe impact to internet users. According to Dr. Anokye, it took four weeks for it to be restored.

September 2014: WACS submarine cable experienced what the NCA said was a shunt fault but did not impact internet traffic.

May 2019: Again, ACE experienced a shunt fault with trawler activities as the probable cause. However, there was no traffic or internet service impacted.

December 2019: SAT-3 (SEGMENT 14) went through a shunt fault which took 39 days for it to be restored. During that same period, subsea cable, MAINONE also experienced a shunt fault with no traffic impacted.

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A screenshot form NCA’s presentation

January 2020: WACS had one of its cables experienced a double fibre cut in London and Congo. Although, the NCA said it was a serious problem, the Authority explained that no traffic was impacted.

December 2020: Subsea cable, MAINONE went through a shunt fault which took four weeks for restoration.

February 2022: Again, MAINONE experienced a shunt fault but with no traffic impacted.

June 2022: SAT-3 (SEGMENT 12) also experienced a shunt fault which impacted traffic as it took 44 before it was resolved.submarine

Dr. Anokye emphasised that with all these cable cuts experienced in the last ten years, there was not any single occasion where two cables were faulty at the same time.

This, he said was different from the fault experienced on Thursday March 14, where four cables were all down at the same time.

“All of the subsea cables, at least three of them MAINONE, ACE and WACS have enough capacity to carry a good chunk of all the traffic in Ghana.“In fact, WACS has the capacity to carry all the traffic at the same time. They have 1.5 terabytes,” he explained.

 

 

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