back to article Lads from Lagos cut off

The lads from Lagos, and lots of other more deserving folk, have lost all internet access, thanks to the failure of a submarine cable linking West Africa to Spain and Portugal. Reports suggest Benin, Niger, Nigeria and Togo have all lost connections. Telcos are trying to find alternative routes, such as satellite links, but …


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  1. TeeCee Gold badge

    What's the betting?

    That the "cable failure" is 'cos the thieving bastards nicked it for the copper?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    At least...

    "but this process is likely to take a week to ten days at least."

    If it is "at least" as week, why mention the ten days?

  3. Big Al

    Contract details

    Of course, if you want that cable fixed, you'll first need to send a non-refundable deposit...

  4. sandman

    An ill wind

    Sad for all the legitimate businesses etc, but I'll miss all the offers of free money (yeah, right).

  5. Ben Schofield
    Thumb Up

    Terrible News

    This is terrible news. I was so close to receiving the £38,000,000 that a kind gentleman in Africa found in my dead great grandad's bank account that I never knew about after I paid him 'fore thosand us dollers' to release the funds. I hope these honest individuals get their connection back soon so I can get my riches, bitches.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Same bunch who managed to cut the last lot of cables across the Med area?

  7. David S


    I thought the actual source of these spam messages was a distributed grid of pwned hardware which are unlikely to be affected much by this outage.

    Mind you, I'm sure I remember someone explaining how the internet was supposed to be able to repair itself magically by rerouting around breaks like this. Sounds like I've been sold a lemon. Where can I get a refund for this broken internet?

  8. Jason Togneri

    A reduction in spam

    Well, the legitimate net users in West Africa will certainly have a reduction in spam for the next week!

  9. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    C#Loud Controls for AIMinders

    That's an interesting exercise of InterNetworking Muscle. And a timely reminder of New Real Communification Facilities. An Astute Senior Service.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Bids, anybody?

    I wonder how much we'd need to pay the ISPs to NOT reconnect Nigeria?

    All donations to

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Good evening kind sir,

    I am secretary to big boss of african telecom giant. my boss has two hundred and fifty million USA dollars in secret bank account due to buying substandard cabling for internets and I need to get it out of country....

    Coat? What coat?

  12. Andy Blackburn


    by their own petard? As TeeCee said... bet they nicked the copper, and ruined their neighbour's lucrative 419 scam on Ben S!

    Or maybe a badger ate its way through?

  13. Sergie Kaponitovicz

    The e-vermin are also using the mail

    I received a letter yesterday (2nd class Royal Mail stamp - cheapskates) from "The Desk of Chun Duyi of the Nanyang Commerclal Bank, China. Apparently my last name matches that of a dead intestate depositor, and the kind Mr Chun Duyl wants to share USD 8.5M with me.

    This Chinese bank official has, amazingly, 2 phone numbers actually based in HK, rather than Lagos.

    If anyone has the energy to wind-up this twat (it's OK, big Dave says I can use that word):

    t: +852-8170-1514

    f: +852-3014-6379

    Any volunteers?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    UR doin it wrong

    Couple of cable in the med, few cables off south africa and one or two coming out of california under the pacific. Cut those buggers at the same time and it all goes very very wrong for the internet and global communications.

    I love how an idea to make a really robust network, when implemented by the lowest bidder, becomes a creaking pile of crap with so many weak spots that a child of five could plan an attack to bring it down.

  15. easyk

    @ What's the betting?

    not usually a lot of copper in fiber optic lines.

  16. Jamie 19
    Jobs Halo

    That is a sin

    Think of all the people who now cannot get thier moneys from dead generals out of contry to other banks, there is millins of us dollars just waiting to be tranfered to otherseas banks.

  17. Greg J Preece

    Only one cable?

    This is the Internet. I thought we were supposed to have a way around this kind of shit. Didn't we call it packet switching or something?

  18. Rod MacLean


    "not usually a lot of copper in fiber optic lines"

    You're forgetting that they would have to dig them up and cut them in half to find out that they were fibre-optic lines...

  19. Rich 11 Silver badge

    @Sergie Kaponitovicz

    I'd have to be dead too before I let anyone deposit my intestates!

  20. Stephen McLeod Blythe


    you might want to post that email to the folks over at

  21. Geoff Mackenzie

    @David S

    "I'm sure I remember someone explaining how the internet was supposed to be able to repair itself magically by rerouting around breaks like this"

    Well yes, but it's not *magic*. If you pull the Ethernet cable out of your PC it won't route round that either.

  22. Sergie Kaponitovicz

    @ Rich 11

    Love it! Cheers.

  23. Maty

    The lads from Lagos

    Don't always stay in Lagos. I recall a recent bust where all the 419ers were all illegal immigrants working out of internet cafes in Amsterdam.

    I always rather enjoy my emails from the 419 crowd. Approached with the right frame of mind, they're a fun read. On the other hand I've never got anything but spam and hack attempts from China, Korea or Russia.

    Is there any way of blowing them off the net? Please?

  24. Alex maximus

    Lotsa coppa

    @easyk - There's a bunch of copper in those submarine cables. Every few miles there are optical repeaters embedded into the cable. Something's gotta supply the power to give those tired photons a boost. Here's to them!

  25. Secretgeek

    @ Sergie Kaponitovicz

    I wouldn't be too quick to mock Sergie, I'm guessing that your surname is fairly infrequent so maybe it IS a relative that you don't know about.

    $8.5M US?

    Got to be worth a try.

    Go on.

    You'd regret it if you didn't.

    It's just there waiting for you.

    Give it a call.


    C. Duyi

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Need the copper for supplying power to the embedded amplifiers/repeaters.

  27. Michael 28

    Call centres outsourced?

    A lot of companies were sold on Nigeria as the new alternative to India for this type of outsourcing. The cable was to replace the expensive and periodically operational satellite coverage.

  28. Sergie Kaponitovicz

    @ Stephen McLeod Blythe

    I am sure that your comment was posted in good faith, BUT....It was NOT an email.

    Quote, with EMPHASIS:

    "I received a LETTER yesterday (2nd CLASS ROYAL MAIL STAMP - cheapskates) from "The Desk of Chun Duyi of the Nanyang Commerclal Bank, China."


    If you wish to take this up with I will happily re-address the letter to you for you to scan and pass on. It could be amusing reading.

    If you want to go for it, contact me at That's a disposable email address hosted by It's a terrific service. Send me your email address and we will take it from there.

    Yrs Sergie

  29. Sergie Kaponitovicz

    @ Secretgeek

    You little tease, you!

  30. stefan 5

    i say leave it broken

    no loss.

  31. easyk


    I sit corrected.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bet there will be a tidal wave of spam

    requesting funds to repair the cable

  33. Stevie


    The banks are paralysed? No wonder I didn't get that $300,000 inheritance from a distant relative yet, and no wonder my e-mails to my agent in Nigeria remain unanswered.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Dr Evil

    It's happening again! Some evil genius is extending his empire of underwater evil cities, all hooked into the fattest cables on Earth.

  35. Terry Barnes

    @ Rod Mclean and others.

    You're forgetting that they would have to dig them up and cut them in half to find out that they were fibre-optic lines...


    Subsea cables are just laid on the sea-bed. There's no digging involved.

    Also, packets can only take alternate routes where one exists. The Internet isn't designed so that every piece of equipment will always work all the time - it's designed so that individual equipment failures don't bring the whole thing down. If a SPoF actually fails then any equipment using that node will lose connectivity with the rest of the network.

  36. jake Silver badge

    Typoes are us ...


  37. Chris Pearson

    Thats ruined it then

    I have only ever had 1 419 scam, so now I am going to have to wait even longer for no2.

    Am I doing the internets wrong? The way you lot go on I should be getting a couple a day!

  38. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Up

    Laying cable

    So, no more sh|t from these guys for a while then?

  39. Steve Roper

    The scambaiters' site

    is, not (which is the site of a cybersquatter).

    @Chris Pearson: You're protecting your email address too effectively. Post your email address openly on a few blogs, forums and social networking sites and the scam offers will come rolling in (along with the penis-enlargement, viagra, russian-bride and sex-aid spam). Do not do this if you value your main email address, perhaps use one of the spare addresses you get from your ISP or set up your own domain (Hotmail and Gmail filter such spam too effectively to be of much use for this, although you could set it to save all the spam in the junk folder and check that on a daily basis before it gets deleted). Have fun!

  40. Anonymous Coward

    One cable

    Reminds me of a quote I saw on USENET:

    "I believe the current state of the art is to have distributed, load-balanced single points of failure to implement high unavailability."

  41. call me scruffy

    @Michael 28

    More fool the guys who've outsourced their Call Centres to Nigeria, Some companies have already had problems with the pay differential making Indian centres quite cheap to bribe, Fifty quid is a _hell_ of a lot of money to one of those guys. I can't imagine our precious consumer data would be particularly expensive on the Nigerian black market.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    @ Terry Barnes

    "Subsea cables are just laid on the sea-bed. There's no digging involved"

    That all depends where the cable has been cut, if it is quite close to shore it was very likley buried (using trenching tools)

    Actually "they" try to trench as much of the cable as possible to avoid easy cuts.

  43. Astarte

    @Ben Schofield, 30.07.2009, 1402GMT

    "This is terrible news. I was so close to receiving the £38,000,000 ... ."

    Dear Mr Schofield,

    Please read your information; I think you'll find they meant ZWD 38,000,000 (Zimbabwean Dolloars) which amounts to about £0.61 (really - check it out)..

    Naturally this is subject to change and to surcharges and all other reasonable costs we can think up.

    Sincerely yous,

    . . .

  44. David S

    @Geoff Mackenzie

    Shows what you know. I have wireless backup. Nyah.

    But point taken. Tongue removed from cheek...

  45. SimpleUser

    Good job

    whoever did it - Cheers.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Arrrggggh Putting the monies into the bank volt.

    Or Else you will be deaded.

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