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April 12, 2018

Cut submarine cable halts all internet access to Mauritania for 2 days

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All of the country of Mauritania was left without internet access for two days, and nine other African nations were affected when the African Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable was severed on March 30.

Per media reports, the cable broke near the Mauritanian capital of Noukachott. A trawler is believed to have severed the line. Mauritania, which has a population of 4.5 million people, relies entirely on ACE for internet access. The ACE system, 10,500 miles long, stretches from France to South Africa, providing an internet connection to 22 countries, most of Africa’s west coast. A large part of the west of the continent was affected by outages.

A spokesman for  Orange, which heads the consortium that manages ACE, tweeted a picture of the severed cable taken by workers on a maintenance vessel sent to repair it. Jean-Luc Vuillemin said a trawler raising the cable
off the seabed and slicing through it was the “likely cause.”

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