JUST IN: NCC gives fresh updates on calls and data services affected by undersea cable cuts

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the restoration of the voice and data services affected by the cable cuts.

NCC’s director of public affairs, Reuben Muoka, stated this in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja.

Muoka said that services were restored following its disruption on March 14, which affected data and voice services due to cuts in undersea fibre optics on the coasts of Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal

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“We are pleased to announce that services have now been restored to approximately 90 per cent of their peak utilisation capacities,” he said.

Muoka said that all the operators who were impacted by the cuts had taken recovery capacity from submarine cables which were not impacted by the cuts.

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According to him, mobile network operators (MNOs) have assured the commission that data and voice services will operate optimally, pending full repairs of the undersea cables.

He said that the MNOs had managed to activate alternative connectivities to bring the situation back to normalcy.

“We extend our appreciation to telecom consumers for their patience and understanding during the downtime caused by the undersea fibre,” he said.

Similarly, MainOne, a West African digital infrastructure service provider, said there is stability on its network across the region.

In a statement on Monday, the service provider said it worked with regional partners last week and over the weekend to reroute traffic with restoration capacity.

“We worked with regional partners late last week and over the weekend to reroute traffic with restoration capacity and our observations are that we have stability on our network across the region this morning,” MainOne said.

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These developments, it said, represent a significant milestone to ensure continued connectivity for the West African business community.

However, MainOne said repair is still ongoing and it is actively working with its maintenance partners, vessel owners and permitting authorities to expedite the restoration of the subsea cable.

It expressed optimism that the cable will be repaired as planned and services fully restored, so it can continue to operate with continued integrity of the submarine cable.

“We want to assure the West African business community and the public that the region remains open for business,” MainOne said.

On March 14, 2024, subsea cable providers were affected by major cuts to undersea submarine cables, disrupting internet traffic in major parts of the continent.

This disrupted the services of banks and telecommunications companies in Nigeria.

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In a statement on March 15, MainOne said repair would take between one and two weeks.

An additional two to three weeks of transit time may be required, according to the company, for a vessel to pick up the spares of submarine cables and travel from Europe to West Africa.

Speaking on the cause of the network outage, MainOne said findings showed the fault occurred due to an external incident that resulted in a cut on its submarine cable system in the Atlantic Ocean offshore Cote D’Ivoire, along the coast of West Africa.

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