ZIMBABWE yesterday experienced a major internet blackout due to a technical fault on Liquid Telecoms Zimbabwe’s main fibre line close to Beitbridge Border Post, but on the South African side, NewsDay has learnt.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
Liquid Telecoms chief commercial officer Martin Mushambadope attributed the blackout, which lasted several hours, to a breakdown along two of their main lines that supply them with bandwidth.
“As I am talking to you, I am inside our network operations room and we are trying to bring back the internet. We are in contact with our South African counterparts to try and resolve the problem. What happened was that two of our main lines that provide us with internet bandwidth in South Africa went down, so our technicians are working on resolving the problem,” he said.
“We have also requested for a full report from our South African counterparts and only then can we be able to have conclusive facts as to how those lines went down.”
Liquid Telecoms is the largest internet access provider in Zimbabwe supplying internet to most parts of the country with other telecoms players relying on the company’s bandwidth.
Other places use TelOne Zimbabwe, whose internet supply also went down shortly after Liquid Telecoms due to a fault.
Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security minister Supa Mandiwanzira said the blackout had cost the country millions of dollars.
“I had a meeting with the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director-general (Gift Machengete) to discuss the situation,” he said.
“We have agreed that Potraz will look into it and see what really happened. They are now going to make sure that service delivery is at the top all the time and find out what really happened and why did the redundancy services not come into play.”
Mandiwanzira said he was told that a tractor accidentally cut one of Liquid Telecoms’ main fibre lines in South Africa while Harare City Council workers accidentally cut one of Telone’s main fibre lines in Kuwadzana.
“This should not happen, there should be redundancy plans in place and I wonder why these did not kick in. If we find that these companies were not truthful with us, we will revoke their licences,” Mandiwanzira warned.