Ethiopian Internet users woke up to no connectivity, thanks in part to the grade 10 national examinations.
Attempts to reach Internet users in Ethiopia on VOIP calls failed (Viber was used in this case, being the most popular service in Ethiopia) but International calls on GSM were successful. Residents confirmed the Internet disruption, apparently occasioned by rumors of a pending exam leakage.
Data from various open sources on Internet traffic do indeed confirm this. Google’s
Traffic Transparency Report indicates a drop in traffic since 10:05HRS (Ethiopian time) or 13:05PM (UTC time).
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Google’s transparency report on traffic showing a drop in normal traffic to one of its most popular tools, google search. Source: GoogleTransparencyReport/traffic</figcaption></figure>
RipeAtlas too shows a drop in traffic:
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">RIPEAtlas country routing statistics showing a drop as reported by Internet users in Ethiopia.</figcaption></figure>
This is not the first time Ethiopia is pulling this **exam =/= Internet** trick. In July 2016, at the height of [political protests](https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/12/ethiopia-government-blocking-of-websites-during-protests-widespread-systematic-and-illegal/), [#OromoProtesters](https://twitter.com/hashtag/Oromoprotests?src=hash) and [journalists](https://www.facebook.com/Jawarmd?hc_ref=NEWSFEED) pulled off an innovative civil disobedience act by leaking the national exams on Facebook. Their argument was that despite asking for the postponement of the national exam due to the many months students in protests areas had missed classes, their pleas were ignored. When the new exam was administered, the government shutdown the Internet across the country to avoid such a situation.