Internet users in Nigeria and at least 12 other African countries have been hit by slow internet service after two undersea cables to the continent’s western coast were damaged this week.
The cables, WACS and SAT3/WASC, are in the Atlantic Ocean and connect South Africa and many other African countries to Europe.
Openserve, a leading Open Access Provider in South Africa, said the submarine cables which links South Africa to Europe was damaged near Libreville in Gabon.
The West Africa Cable System (WASC), which links South Africa to the United Kingdom, also experienced outage along the coast of Luanda, Angola.
“The unusual and simultaneous dual cable break has resulted in customers, that are connected to Openserve’s global capacity clients, experiencing reduced speed on international browsing.
International voice calling and mobile roaming has also been impacted,” Openserve said in a statement on Thursday.
The broadband provider, however, said “undersea cable infrastructure repairs are complex and can be time consuming.”
In Nigeria, disruption to the transfer of telecoms signals through the cables resulted in the slow internet connection experienced by MTN Subscribers since Wednesday.
It is unclear if other telecommunications in Nigeria is affected.
MTN in a text message and via Twitter apologised to its Nigeria customers.
“We apologize for slow data speeds and difficulty with accessing the internet. Please bear with us as we work to resolve the issue,” the telecomm said.
At least 12 countries besides South Africa were impacted to at least some degree, according to NetBlocks.org, a non-profit organization that tracks Internet shutdowns and government censorship.
Other nations affected included Ghana, Ivory Coast and Cameroon.