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Burkina Faso experiencing second major Internet disruption this year


3 min read

The early hours of Sunday, January 23, 2022, started in Burkina Faso with an Internet outage or shutdown. Heavy gunfire in an army mutiny could be related to the outage according to the New York Times (“mobile Internet services were shut down”). As of today, there are three countries affected by major Internet disruptions — Tonga and Yemen are the others.

Cloudflare Radar shows that Internet traffic dropped significantly in the West African country after ~09:15 UTC (the same in local time) and remains low more than 24 hours later. Burkina Faso also had a mobile Internet shutdown on January 10, 2022, and another we reported in late November 2021.

The main ISPs from Burkina Faso were affected. The two leading Internet Service Providers Orange and FasoNet lost Internet traffic after 09:15 UTC, but also Telecel Faso, as the next chart shows. This morning, at around 10:00 UTC there was some traffic from FasoNet but less than half of what we saw at the same time in preceding days.

It’s not only mobile traffic that is affected. Desktop traffic is also impacted. In Burkina Faso, our data shows that mobile devices normally represent 70% of Internet traffic.

With the Burkina Faso disruption, three countries are currently mostly without access to the Internet for different reasons.

In Yemen, as we reported, the four day-long outage is related to airstrikes that affected a telecommunications building in Al-Hudaydah where the FALCON undersea cable lands.

In Tonga, the nine day-long outage that we also explained is related to problems in the undersea cable caused by the large volcanic eruption in the South Pacific archipelago.

Several significant Internet disruptions have already occurred in 2022 for different reasons:

1. An Internet outage that lasted a few hours in The Gambia because of a cable problem (on January 4).
2. A six days Internet shutdown in Kazakhstan because of unrest (from January 5 to January 11).
3. A mobile Internet shutdown in Burkina Faso because of a coup plot (on January 10).
4. An Internet outage in Tonga because of a volcanic eruption (ongoing since January 15).
5. An Internet outage in Yemen because of airstrikes that affected a telecommunications building (ongoing since January 20,).
6. This second Internet disruption in Burkina Faso is related to military unrest (ongoing since January 23).

You can keep an eye on Cloudflare Radar to monitor the Burkina Faso, Yemen and Tonga situations as they unfold.

UPDATE: January 25, 2022

Internet connectivity returned to Burkina Faso last night (January 24, 2022) around 20:00 UTC after a ~35 hour disruption. Orange and FasoNet are back online.

In Yemen, Internet connectivity was also restored last night. Cloudflare Radar shows that the traffic began to grow at around 22:00 UTC and is back to the usual levels of the previous weeks this morning. The outage lasted four full days.

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João Tomé|@emot

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