West Africa: Back to normal Internet connectivity in 6 African countries affected by ACE cable failure

The Africa Coast to Europe Consortium (ACE), the manager of the undersea fiber optic cable of the same name, has been troubleshooting it. The break-up of the broadband telecoms infrastructure off Nouakchott in Mauritania had caused disruptions in the Internet service for many operators and service providers for many days. The countries most affected by the blackout are those with only the ACE submarine cable connection. These are Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea and The Gambia.

In Mauritania, customers of telecom operators Chinguitel, Mattel and Mauritel, respectively subsidiaries of Sudatel Group, Tunisie Telecom and Maroc Telecom have struggled for several days to access the Internet. In Sierra Leone, disruptions in data connectivity; the day after the victory of Julius Maada Bio, the opposition candidate, in the presidential election of March 31, 2018, even raised among the people, suspicions of restriction by the government of access to the Internet. The National Telecommunications Commission (Natcom) was quick to reassure consumers about the non-involvement of the Sierra Leonean authorities in this situation.

Until the breakdown was repaired, the ACE consortium did not provide any details as to the exact causes of the failure of Mauritania’s offshore submarine fiber optic cable. Many consumers who have had their plans expired without having fully consumed, already call the telecom operators to compensation.

Source: Agence Ecofin