MainOne, Operators Of Undersea Fibre Optic Cable Disrupts Its Internet Services In Nigeria And Other African Countries

By Stephen Ubanna

For much of Thursday, March 16, 2024, and now, Communications with the international Community,  business transactions and Internet banking in  Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal , Cote d’Ivoire, all West African countries and some  Central and East African countries appears to have been made worse due to damaged undersea cables , managed by MainOne, a Multinational Submarine Company off the coast of CoteIvoire.

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, under the close watch of Aminu Maida,   had confirmed that  Main One, operators of  the damaged  international undersea cables  had caused the internet disruptions in the West , Central and East African countries on its Data Center but  currently working round  the clock  to ensure  that services are restored  to the affected countries  within the shortest possible to reduce the worsening the economic hardship in the affected countries.

Submarine Cable

 The Authorities of MinOne  West, Central  and East  African Data center, had said on Friday, March 16, 2024,  that the internet  outage  that had  hit the   West, Central  and East  African  countries was caused  by a break  in its submarine cable systems.The Company had reported   that an undisclosed external incident, had resulted in a cut in its cable system  in the Atlantic ocean , offshore  Coted’Ioire  along the coast  of West Africa.

Given the distance of the undersea cable to the Land put at about 1.3 Kms, at the point of cut , may have informed  why the company has’’ ruled  out any form of human activity, ship anchors,  fishing , and oil drilling operations to be instrumental to the cause of the internet disruptions in some of these African  countries on its website’’. 

 Nigeria, may have been worse hit by the MainOne internet disruptions as the most advanced country in the West and Central African sub-regions with internet infrastructure. This is because the damage on its undersea fibre cable  had disrupted  Local, state and Federal government services, including the Organised Private Sector, OPS,   business transactions and Financial markets  that it has taken a toll on cash  withdrawals and transfer of funds by Customers from the banks and other Financial Institutions.

There is no gain saying the fact since the undersea cable cut happened  offshore the coast of Coted’Ivoire, financial transactions, particular, in the West and Central African sub-regions  were said been blocked  as information  transmission  were  disrupted. This appears to have became pronounced as   people lost contact with their oversea Customers as a result of the internet disruption which many believe  had ‘’hampered their business activities’’. 

An insider told The Value News online Magazine that  repairing undersea fibre  cables  cut   may  not be  as simple as people may think, describing it as’’ a vey complex  and time consuming process’’   that could take  several weeks  or even months  to complete, depending on the damage nature  and the cable’s location.

Unlike  conventional copper wire which can be repaired within one week , Fibre  optic  cables, according to an insider are repaired  in the same way that they are spliced, meaning that the bad section must be completely removed  and the remaining fibre  optic section  carefully splice to avoid a repeat of  the disruption of its operations in the Future.

A source confirmed that it cost between 600 and 1000, US, dollars to replace a damaged fibre  optic cables and  between $15,000 to $20,000 to repair such a damaged fibre.  It could cost that much because fibre optic cables are believed to be more expensive than the traditional copper cables.

The prices of the fibre optic cables   may have been increasing over the years due to the advancement s in technology and increased demand by undersea internet companies.

The high cost of the fibre optic cables  may have given an insight why  MainOne,  the Submarine Company  , had said that restoring internet services  i Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Coted’Ivoire and some East African countries will take close two weeks  to repair  the damaged section of undersea cable  cut  which had disrupted th   services  in some  countries in the  West, Central and East African sub-regions since Thursday, March 15, 2024.

 The Management of MainOne, the undersea cable operators in Nigeria and other African countries  had said that  ‘’the restoration capacity  for temporary  relief  would be made available  to Customers which it was said to have  already done that `was said  to brought back life to the African countries that were  initially  cut off from the world  int facilty  due to the undersea cable systems cut.

As a prelude to prevent a similar o`cc“urence of  disruption of internet services in Nigeria and other African countries in the future  the Multinational  Submarine  Company  was said to have informed the African countries on its internet data Centre   that the company will do  some pre- configured  restoration capacity  on the fibre  cable systems, which are down  currently.

The company which  had since  acquired   available capacity   to repair damaged undersea cables systems has regretted that it has  not found   a readily available technology  ‘’to fully restore  services to customers whenever there is disruption of  its services at any time there is a fibre cable system  laid undersea cut tat could disrupt its operations.     

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