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Recent internet disruptions were caused by damages to submarine and terrestrial cables.

Restrictions, disruptions, and unrest

The recent internet disruptions were primarily caused by damages to submarine and terrestrial cables, which are vital for carrying communications signals such as internet traffic across oceans and over land. These cables are usually heavily insulated to prevent damage, but incidents can still occur due to various reasons.

According to a report from Cloudflare, damage to submarine cables was identified as the leading cause of internet outages in the first quarter of 2024. The deliberate disruption of internet traffic was significant, particularly in the Red Sea region, where Houthi rebels cut three cables and disrupted international shipping as part of their campaign.

In addition to deliberate sabotage, natural occurrences like underwater rockfalls have also affected cables along the African coastline. Cables such as the West African Cable System, Submarine Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable, African Coast to Europe, and MainOne have all experienced damage from these incidents.

Moreover, disruptions in internet connectivity have been linked to political events such as elections, civil unrest, and conflicts. Countries like Chad, Pakistan, Senegal, Ukraine, Sudan, and Palestine have faced internet outages due to a variety of factors, including missile strikes, civil unrest, and political suppression.

While these disruptions have had significant impacts on internet connectivity in various regions, efforts are being made to repair the damaged cables and restore normalcy to the affected areas.

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