You probably have noticed that the East African blogosphere has remained rather silent over the past few days. It’s not because of laziness or lack of interesting topics to talk about, it is because internet has been off or very slow since last weekend. What happened? From The Guardian

The old theory that a butterly flapping its wings can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world may be somewhat far-fetched. But that a ship dropping anchor can disrupt the lives of millions has become painfully evident.

That is what happened off the Kenyan coast when, by unlucky chance, an anchor scored a direct hit on an underwater fibre-optic cable.

The knock-on effect is a predicted 20% slowdown in internet speeds in KenyaRwandaBurundiTanzaniaEthiopia and South Sudan […]

Fibre-optic cables are typically composed of about four strands, each the diameter of a human hair and capable of carrying millions of phone calls and data connections simultaneously.

I had never realized how vulnerable East Africa is to a few fiber optic cables. There are only three of them servicing the region (TEAMS, EASSy and SEACOM) and two are not working at the moment. It will take three weeks to fix the problem.  This will be a hard time for the growing number of  internet start-ups in the region.