The embattled south-east Asian nation experienced widespread internet disruption in the middle of a military coup seeking to oust a democratically-elected government.
The UK’s NetBlocks Internet Observatory reported widespread internet disruptions in Myanmar on Monday, 1 February, amid the onset of a military uprising and the detention of government representatives, including Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy Party.
According to NetBlocks, telecommunication disruptions began at approximately 3am on Monday morning local time, having a “significant subnational” impact, which limited real-time coverage of the events.
Disruptions continued through the morning, with national connectivity reportedly falling to as low as 50 per cent by 8am local time.
Data found that cuts affected multiple network operators, including state-owned Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), and international operator Telenor.
According to NetBlocks, a “centrally ordered mechanism of disruption” targeted cellular and some fixed-line services.
“Findings are corroborated by users on the ground and journalists who describe being unable to get online and a simultaneous loss telephone connectivity,” NetBlocks reported.
Some cellular connectivity has since been restored, but many users remain offline.
The military coup was sparked by a dispute over the outcome of Myanmar’s election in November, which senior military officials alleged was fraudulent.
Myanmar’s chief of the armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, has assumed control of the government under a one-year-long state of emergency.