Somalia Suffers From Internet Loss After Ship Cuts Cable

 12 Jul 2017 10.43am

Somalia's government has estimated that the country is losing US$10 million a day due to the damage caused by the Panama-flagged MSC Alice after it dragged its anchor through the main fibre optic cable at Mogadishu port on June 24, 2017.

Around 6.5 million people have been cut off from the internet in Somalia's south-central region, adding to the damage caused by decades of conflict as almost two million people who earn money abroad are unable to send it home to their relatives.

Geneva-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Company, MSC Alice's owner, has said it is looking into the incident.

The Somali government and Dalkom, a Somali telecommunications company that is part of the consortium providing the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System, are aiming to have the cable fixed and internet services restored later this week.

MSC said in a statement: "Following reports that an underwater cable was damaged, MSC is investigating the incident with other relevant parties and these investigations are at an early stage.”

Ahmed Soliman, Somalia researcher at the Chatham House think tank in London, told AFP: "In Somalia the telecommunications sector has thrived, even during some of the worst years of conflict.

“Urban Somalis have become increasingly connected online since fibre-optic was rolled out in 2014."

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