A submarine cable cut has caused Internet outages in Merauke City, Papua.

The disconnection at Indonesia’s easternmost province began around 11:21 local time on Sunday, March 27.

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Operator PT Telkom Indonesia said that the Sulawesi Maluku Papua Cable System (SMPCS) broke around 289km from its Merauke landing station. The damage is at a depth of 59m.

The company said that services were being rerouted via the Palapa Ring East cable and satellite links. However, Internet connectivity in the city and surrounding area are still downgraded.

PT Telkom Indonesia apologized for the issues, but did not give a timeline for a fix.

A different section of the SMPCS cable broke last year, impacting the Sarmi region of Papua. That time, the outage partially disconnected the Indonesian military, as it pursued West Papua Liberation Army guerilla fighters for killing a senior Indonesian intelligence official.

The government shut down the Internet in Papua back in 2019 due to widespread protests over independence and racism. An Indonesian court later ruled the shutdown as illegal as a a state of emergency was not declared.

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