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West African internet access hit hard by cable damage

Serious damage has been caused to the 9,300mile long undersea SAT-3 cable, which has resulted in major disruption to West African Internet access and services. Several countries, including Benin, Togo, Niger and Nigeria, have all been hit hard. The cable itself runs between Europe (Portugal and Spain) to South Africa, via West Africa.

It's believed that around 70% of Nigeria's bandwidth has been lost, causing serious problems for its banks, government institutions, mobile networks and that incredibly annoying email SCAMMER who keeps trying to coax foolish users into handing over $30,000+ to "help the president". Poor fella.

Ladi Okuneye, chief marketing officer of Suburban Telecoms, which provides the majority of Nigeria's bandwidth, told BBC News Online :

"SAT-3 is currently the only fibre optic cable serving West Africa, so all West African countries have to use it."

Some countries have been forced to fall back on expensive satellite broadband links, though others have been able to rout traffic through alternative cables.

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