When a nautical chart says something like “Do not anchor here – underwater cables!”, it’s really saying “Do not anchor here, or you will cut an underwater cable” – they’re not just being paranoid, as East Africa just found out:
East Africa’s high-speed internet access has been severely disrupted after a ship dropped its anchor onto a fibre-optic cable off Kenya’s coast.
The ship was waiting to enter Mombasa – one of Africa’s busiest ports – when it anchored in a restricted area.
It could take up to 14 days to repair, cable owners The East African Marine Systems (Teams) told the BBC.
This is one of three undersea cables to have arrived in the region since 2009, delivering faster internet access.
It’s just a reminder that despite how interconnected and high-speed the world has become, it can be disrupted by something as simple as a ship’s anchor. The world may be turning digital, but analog is still King.