Vicky Wireko
Vicky Wireko

Internet disruption – vulnerability of our time

The recent Internet disruption blamed on deep sea cable issues pointed to one thing - the vulnerability that stares us in the face in this twenty first century advanced digital world.


Our over reliance on the Internet to plan our lives and economic activities came to a stop momentarily as data services got badly disrupted. It showed that Internet accessibility could be a good and yet a bad master when one needed it most.

According to one of the many statements issued by the National Communications Authority (NCA) during the week, all subsea cable landing service providers in Ghana were completely cut off from international data services.   

The might of the outage deep down under the sea consequently affected data services not only in Ghana. It was reported to have affected other countries, notably some in the West-African sub-region and further beyond.

Thankfully, one had a bit of a breather from the media noise and screaming headlines on partisan politics. At the critical moment when our lives were on the brink of total shut down and cut off from international data services, we were all in unison for a search to find solutions to the disruptions that had thrown us into confusion.

Media headlines

The media as usual led the discussions with headlines that screamed for respite. Some headlines one came across included: “Life without Internet”, “Social media, e-banking, ride hailing services disrupted”.   

Others read: “Internet disruptions affecting economic activities”, “Current Internet disruptions vindicate Bawumia’s digitisation drive”, “Be patient, Ursula begs Ghanaians over Internet disruption” and “Varsities lament hitches to academic work caused by Internet service interruption”.

What did the disruption do to us? A lot, pointing massively to the fact that nothing is certain in our world except God. Nobody expected it. Science never predicted it, deep sea divers never saw it coming this time of the year and the so-called prophets did not see it in visions because they never asked congregants to pray and fast to avert it.  


What one knew for sure, even without scientific data, was that for a vast number of people and businesses, the magnitude of the disruptions caused were enormous.

The first day it happened, one had successfully gone through an early morning Zoom devotion, checked a few social media messages and switched off to do other things. Just about an hour later, the Internet was off.  

No application could turn it back on. Was it coming from a service provider? Was one’s credit running out? Then messages started circulating. It was a general problem, in fact, a major disruption to all networks!

A friend who did not know what was going on had gone to a shop to do some shopping. At the till where she had gone to pay for the items, her credit card did not work. A second credit card she pulled out did not work either.  

Fortunately, she had enough money on her mobile money account and so proceeded to pay using that. She did not succeed. She could not have access to her internet banking either.  With no cash on her, she had to leave the items behind and walk away.  

Her frustrations did not end there. Back at her desk, she attempted to send some emails. That also did not work. “No Internet connection”, was the prompting she kept getting.  Then she called around later in the day and the reality of a major disruption hit her.

Zoom meetings and other online meetings and lectures during the period were cancelled, some were even cancelled for the whole week, to be rescheduled next week.

The first weekend of the crisis did not spare anyone. As adults continued with the frustrations, so did little children whose world, these days, are dependent on availability of the Internet to settle down with their favourite cartoons.  

Last Saturday, I met someone with two toddlers who are normally settled down on a morning like that with their tablets watching their favourite cartoons as the parents got on with house chores.

These children were jittery with no connection forthcoming to do what they liked doing best even without parental assistance. No amount of explanation from the parents about the general Internet disruption would settle them, in their world of instant everything.  

They threw into tantrums, frustrated, they ended up frustrating their parents too. That was how far Internet connectivity has imprisoned us and or impacted our lives.

The past week’s shake-up from under the sea has underscored the fact that our lives have reduced to Internet dependability. Can one play the ostrich and move on with no attempts to correct or stop a future occurrence, now that lives are gradually resuming as normal? 


Without doubt, there is a need for a plan “B” as far as Internet and data services are concerned. The dread of putting all our eggs in one basket has a potential of crippling our lives. Next time, one does not know how long it would take to have issues resolved, that is if there would be room for that.  

This all reminds us that a stich in time, saves nine. Writer’s email: [email protected]

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