State-owned telecommunications company TelOne announced in an SMS to clients that vandals have caused an outage of telephone/voice communications and internet services in Harare’s CBD:
TelOne apologises for the disruption of our voice and internet service in Harare CBD due to network vandalism. We are working to restore service.TelOne
Vandalism has been a perennial problem for TelOne. The company’s Managing Director Chipo Mtasa last year said that vandals had cost the operator ZWL$50 million in the theft of equipment and damages.
“Network vandalism has become rampant nationwide affecting TelOne’s service provision, especially for our voice and broadband services, which we call ADSL. You find out that a lot of copper cables are being stolen and taken to the black market where they are sold. At dollar terms, more than $50 million has been lost this year due to copper cables vandalism and theft. As a result, more than 50 000 subscribers have been affected this year alone.“Chipo Mutasa, TelOne Managing Director
At the time TelOne said that it was employing a number of measures to ensure the security of its infrastructure. Which included increasing security guards and systems as well as replacing the copper cables with fibre optic. The last method makes sense because there is a smaller market for fibre in Zimbabwe than there is for copper. However, there has been a spike in the theft of fibre in South Africa because vandals are looking to sell the Kevlar that encases the cables.
Hopefully, TelOne can get internet and voice communications back up and further sure up its network from vandals.
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