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The reason why the internet has been very slow this January 2020.

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Pages aren’t loading or load slowly, pictures disappear when pages eventually load and office admins and HR are having a hard time apologizing again and again to frustrated employees.

In some countries, consumers and businesses can’t send emails or make cross-border phone calls. There’s a reason why internet subscribers in Nigeria and most of Africa can’t get online as they used to at the moment; and it has everything to do with the physical internet infrastructure.

Bloomberg reports that internet users across sub-Saharan Africa are stuck with slow service after two undersea cables to the continent’s western coast got damaged. The damaged cable systems are called WACS and SAT3/WASC.

These cables are embedded in the Atlantic Ocean and connect South Africa and many other African countries to Europe, according to Openserve, a unit of South Africa’s biggest fixed-line telecommunications provider, Telkom SA SOC Ltd.

One damage occurred near Libreville in Gabon and the other occurred in the vicinity of Luanda, Angola, according to an emailed statement from Openserve.

MTN Group Ltd., which is Africa’s biggest telecommunications provider, apologized to customers in Nigeria and Ivory Coast for slow Internet speeds and difficulties in accessing data services. In newspaper advertisements and via Twitter, MTN said the problem was beyond its control.

South Africa-based Internet Solutions, a unit of Dimension Data Holdings Plc, told customers in Ghana that a “major” service impact had started on Thursday afternoon and said it didn’t know when services would be restored.

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