By MASATO MASATO, 6th July 2010 @ 12:00 DAILY NEWS TECHNICAL hitches experienced by Seacom -- the first cable to provide broadband to East African countries -- have seriously affected communication in the country for the last two days, almost halting business and other operations that rely on internet. "It is total chaos in the city...there is nowhere to access the internet," charged Mr Protas Masawe, who was looking for internet connection through a Vodacom modem. Hundreds of city residents flocked the Vodacom offices along Ohio Street to buy the gadget but were directed to Mwalimu Nyerere Fair grounds along Kilwa road. Seacom, in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday, blamed submarine failure that started on Monday as a result of "service downtime between Mumbai, India and Mombasa, Kenya." The firm said preliminary investigations had indicated that a special gadget -- repeater -- has failed on segment nine of the Seacom cable, which is offshore to the north of Mombasa. Seacom said it had initiated emergency repair procedures to replace the repeater. "Once mobilised, the repair ship is deployed to the location of the fault to pick up the cable. The cable is then brought on board to undergo repairs -- the faulty element is replaced with a new repeater -- before being put back in the water." Whilst the repair process itself takes a few hours, Seacom said the overall process may last a minimum of six to eight days, saying the actual duration was hardly predictable due to external factors like transit time of the ship, weather conditions and time to locate the cable. "For this reason, the estimated duration of this repair remains uncertain," said the service provider, assuring however that it was, through co-operation with individual clients, working round the clock to restore the service by Thursday. The company was also looking for other options to restore the service, pending the repair work. Seacom is the first provider of broadband to East African countries, where Kenya and Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique are inter-connected through protected ring structure.