INTERNET SOCIETY SOMALIA CHAPTER STATEMENT ON THE RUPTURE OF OPTICAL FIBER SUBMARINE CABLES.

Many in Somalia are feeling intermittent stressed internet access outages and without clear explanation many are working on their access points, or their equipment, etc. However, the problem lies elsewhere. Recently Thirteen countries across Africa experienced Internet outages due to damage to submarine fiber optic cables. Some countries, including Ghana and Nigeria, are still suffering from nationwide outages. Multiple network providers also reported Internet outages, and Cloudflare’s Radar tool, which monitors Internet usage patterns, detailed how the outage seemingly moved from the northern part of West Africa to South Africa.

The Internet Society Somali chapter is working on ways to inform the community about this issue and ways to find alternative solutions or minimise the impact of these outages where possible. The internet service providers by ramping up more capacity on the active undersea cables can alleviate the congestion caused by diversion of traffic from South East and South West Africa following damage of undersea internet cables on the West African Coast.

Somcast a major technology provider in Somalia has informed us after ramping up more capacity on the active undersea cables, they have noted a significant improvement for their customers. However, that have told us whereas this is not the permanent fix needed to return to normal service operation, it has improved the service usability for their customers to a great extent for the time being. There are also a lot of activities to ensure the undersea cables are secure and internet access interruption will be minimised.

The Chapter is following with concern the current situation of internet access in SOMALIA and in several African countries, following the rupture of several fiber optic submarine cables linking the country to the rest of the world. This situation has led to a significant deterioration in connectivity and an increase in latency times for Internet users in Africa and elsewhere. THE CHAPTER understands the negative impact this situation can have on individuals, businesses, and the SOMALI economy. Internet access has become an essential part of daily life, enabling communication, education, commerce, and access to information. Its disruption can have major consequences on all aspects of social and economic life. The Chapter calls on all stakeholders to take all necessary measures to restore Internet connectivity as quickly as possible. This includes setting up alternative connectivity solutions and communicating transparently with the public on the evolution of the situation.

When internet connectivity problems occur, the Chapter encourages internet users to adopt the following good practices:

  • Use data compression tools to reduce bandwidth consumption.
  • Postpone non-urgent tasks that require a stable Internet connection.
  • Stay informed of the situation by consulting official sources.

The chapter reaffirms its commitment to promoting an open, accessible, and reliable internet for all. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide useful information and resources to Internet users in SOMALIA.