Ethiopia Imposes Nationwide Internet Blackout · Global Voices
Last year, the government was forced to postpone the national university entrance exam after the initial session was marred by a leak spread on Facebook. Activists in the diaspora leaked questions on Facebook ahead of the exam in early June in 2016 after the government refused to re-schedule the exam for students who missed an entire semester of classes due to protests.
But the current blackout is different from previous mobile Internet and social media shutdowns that have been imposed in an effort to prevent exam leaking. This blackout is broader in scope and scale, effectively eliminating Ethiopia from the map of the global Internet.
This is especially easy for the Ethiopian government to do, since all Internet and phone service in the country is provided through through a single government-owned Internet service provider, Ethio Telecom. The blackout thus leaves businesses, banks, Internet cafes in Addis Ababa and social media pages of government media cut off from the rest of the world, making it harder for them to do their day-to-day work.