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Fibre Optic Cable Cutting disrupting Internet Usage in developing nations

Africa and East Africa in particular was having relatively a stable Internet connection although slow and expensive when Internet was basically through satellite links. When Optic fibres (submarine cables) arrived at the East African coast, with their vast advantages, many people, organisations and even government agencies switched from satellite to fibre Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

All seemed great at the start, with high speeds, cheap Internet better customer care and bundled Internet that is affordable. As time went on, cables started getting cut either under the sea or along the coast, although the cuts under the sea are relatively minimal, leaving the local ISPs stranded. ISP in return backed up their services by subscribing with different submarine cable providers, just in case one cable went cut or gets a technical problem, the other cable could deliver the traffic. This however has had a drawback of too much traffic on smaller trunks and increasing on the operational cost of Internet provision which costs are pushed to the finial consumer.

It takes more than one week to repair a cut submarine cable and a few hours to repair an underground coastal cable if they were cut. Although these submarine cables seem safe at the sea bed, they are exposed to a number of activities along the coast including but not limited to thieves, excavation, road and earth works which leave them cut on a very regular basis.

On a weekly basis, an Internet consumer on a cable ISP has to receive a mail of service interruption caused by cable cuts. Comparing times when the majority of Internet was through satellite, it could take you (customer) a month or three before receiving service interruption mails. It is now common to hear about cable cuts as an excuse for poor Internet service.

One sits down and wonders whether those days of satellite were better, whether optic fibre should be run above the ground, or whether there are ways of minimizing on these service interruption.

Is this the case in your nation?

READS:

http://www.quora.com/How-are-major-undersea-cables-laid-in-the-ocean

http://www.howardcommunications.ltd.uk/hcl-22feb09_006.htm

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