Parts of west Africa 'still unconnected'

31 July 2009

Large parts of West Africa are still struggling to log on after damage was caused to the South Atlantic 3/West African Submarine Cable (Sat-3).

Mobile phone networks, the government and the banking sector have all experienced problems due to around 70 per cent of Nigeria's bandwidth being cut.

Chief marketing officer of Suburban Telecom Ladi Okuneye noted many organisations were forced to use alternative connection methods - such as satellite links.

"Sat-3 is currently the only fibre optic cable serving West Africa," he said. "So all west African countries have to use it."

The network is operated by Suburban Telecom and the cable runs from Portugal and Spain to South Africa, via the west side of the continent.

Severe problems have also been caused in Benin, Togo and Niger as a result of the damage.

A spokesperson from the operator assured the rest of the system had been unaffected by the fault.

Established in 1999, Suburban Telecom is based in Nigeria.

Category: ICT

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