Internet collapses in Yemen over 'maintenance'

AP , Friday 10 Nov 2023

Internet access across the war-torn Yemen collapsed Friday and stayed down for hours, with officials later blaming unannounced “maintenance work” for an outage that followed attacks by the country’s Houthi rebels on both Israel and the US.


A man walks past an installation depicting drones in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on 7 November, 2023. AFP

 

The outage began early Friday and halted all traffic at YemenNet, the country’s main provider for about 10 million users which is now controlled by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthis.

Both NetBlocks, a group tracking internet outages, and the internet services company CloudFlare reported the outage. The two did not offer a cause for the outage.

“Data shows that the issue has impacted connectivity at a national level as well,” CloudFlare said.

Several hours later, some service was restored, though access remained troubled.

In a statement to the Houthi-controlled SABA state news agency, Yemen’s Public Telecom Corp. blamed the outage on maintenance.

“Internet service will return after the completion of the maintenance work,” the statement quoted an unidentified official as saying.

An earlier outage occurred in January 2022 when the Saudi-led coalition battling the Houthis in Yemen bombed a telecommunications building in the Red City port city of Hodeida.

The undersea FALCON cable carries the internet into Yemen through the Hodeida port along the Red Sea for TeleYemen. The FALCON cable has another landing in Yemen’s far eastern port of Ghaydah as well, but the majority of Yemen’s population lives in its west along the Red Sea.

GCX, the company that operates the cable, did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

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