Telcos suffer over 2000 cable cuts last year

Source: Ghana|Adombusiness
Date: 03-02-2014 Time: 04:02:25:pm

Telecom operators in the suffered more than 2000 cable cuts in 2013, a statement from the Ghana Chamber of Telecoms said on Monday.

According to the statement, “the incidence of cable cuts stood at 2,110 in 2013, compared to 1,605 in 2012 and 480 the previous year.”
It said three-quarters of the cuts occurred during road construction, followed by small-scale illegal mining, which is responsible for 10 per cent of cuts.

The statement said other causes were theft, vandalism and bush-fires, adding that in January of this year, MTN alone has already suffered nearly 50 cable cuts.

The situation has attracted the attention of the Minister of Roads and Highways, Hon. Amadu Aminu Sulemani, who was quoted as saying “my ministry is very concerned about these cable cuts and I want to work with all the key stakeholders to address it because it’s a national security issue.”

He was speaking at a meeting in his office with officials from the telecoms industry led by the Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Mr. Kwaku Sakyi-Addo.

The Ministry is collaborating with the Telecoms Chamber to minimize the number of cable cuts, which is disrupting telecoms services for millions of subscribers.

As part of the efforts, roads agencies and network operators will share their respective plans and technical drawings for new projects to ensure that they are aligned in order to minimize damage to telecom cables.

The telecom companies will also ensure that their contractors lay cables at the appropriate depths to minimize undue exposure.

The National Engineering Coordinating Team (NECT), which comprises roads agencies and utilities including network operators, will meet in February in the Western Region where the incidence of cable cuts is currently most acute.

Last year, the National Security Co-ordinator issued a set of directives to the Roads and Highways Minister aimed at curbing cable cuts.  Among other measures, it called for roads agencies and telcos to provide contractors with cable layouts of the project area. 

The National Communications Authority has also expressed concern about the disruptions to telecoms services as a result of cable cuts.

Other officials at the meeting were Mr. Isaac Adjei Mensah and Dr. Daniel Darku, Deputy Minister and Chief Director respectively at the Ministry of Roads and Highways; Mr. Michael Abbey, CEO of Ghana Highways Authority and Alhaji Abass Awolu, Director for Urban Roads. Others were Mr. Obafemi Banigbe, Chief Operating Officer at TiGo and Ms. Adwoa Arthur, Regulatory Officer, MTN.