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Anchor accident at sea expected to slow East Africa's internet speeds for up to two weeks

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A dropped anchor off the coast of Kenya has damaged one of the region's major links to high-speed internet and will result in reduced speeds for up to two weeks.

Cargo ship SHUTTERSTOCK
Cargo ship SHUTTERSTOCK

Internet speeds in six East African countries will be unexpectedly throttled for up to two weeks after a ship erroneously anchored in restricted waters outside Kenya, damaging one of three major fiber optic links (or "cables") that supply high-speed web access to the region in the process. The cable's owner, Teams — short for The East African Marine Systems — has estimated repair could take 14 days to complete. In the meantime, ISPs and mobile carriers have rerouted bandwidth through another of the underwater links known as Seacom, which connects the countries of East Africa to Europe, India, and South Africa.

The measure ensures continued access to those within the impacted area: Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and South Sudan's capital city Juba are all affected, according to BBC News. Unfortunately, browsing speeds are expected to be slowed by 20 percent during the repair period, a significant (albeit temporary) hurdle for East Africa, which has been host to an expanding tech sector since the first cables were completed in 2009.