Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Internet in Zimbabwe still affected by cable damage

Internet in Zimbabwe still affected by cable damage

By Lance Guma
06 March 2012

Internet users in Zimbabwe, including Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) 
served by TelOne, are still getting slow and intermittent internet service, 
three weeks after two separate shipping accidents severed a crucial internet 
and phone link for the region.

In one of the accidents, a ship dragging its anchor off the coast of the 
Kenyan port city of Mombasa severed an undersea cable that cut off some nine 
African countries, including Zimbabwe. Repairs are still underway amid 
concerns it could take engineers up to a month to complete the work.

Another cable severed in two is known as EASSy and is owned by the West 
Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC). The WIOCC is jointly owned by 14 major 
telecom operators in Africa, including Zimbabwe’s TelOne. Experts say 
Zimbabwe has been hardest hit by the accident which cut the cable.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa told us internet speeds during 
the day were now slow and many people were waiting to go online in the 
evening when speeds appeared faster. Technology website Tech Zim report that 
other internet providers, using alterative international cables, have not 
been affected.

Tech Zim quoted sources who said: “Liquid Telecom and PowerTel, the other 
two international bandwidth resellers in Zimbabwe, have not been affected by 
the EASSy outage or the increased load on SEACOM (another cable) due to 
traffic from the failed cables that’s been rerouted to it.”

The company responsible for the EASSy cable however is not happy with the 
press reports and believe the media are exaggerating the impact. The company 
said although the cable suffered a cut it only affected, “the section of 
cable between Port Sudan and Djibouti…and impact on customers has been 

But Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Minister Nelson Chamisa 
told SW Radio Africa that his ministry was inundated with complaints from 
people complaining about poor internet speeds: “I have instructed officials 
in my ministry to get in touch with those responsible to speedily resolve 
the problem.”


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