DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Internet access across the war-torn nation of Yemen collapsed Friday and stayed down for hours, with officials later blaming unannounced “maintenance work” for the outage.
The interruption 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.
By late Friday, service had been fully restored.
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.
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, later issued a statement also saying that “scheduled maintenance took place” involving the line.