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Telkom Kenya suffers more cable vandalism

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 30 – Barely a fortnight after petitioning the government to take action against copper and fibre optic cable vandals, Telkom Kenya on Wednesday suffered yet another major setback after one of its main fibre optic cables was vandalised along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.

The fibre optic cable cut at a point near Sultan Hamud caused a major voice and data traffic outage for Telkom Kenya’s Mombasa customers.

“While I take this opportunity to apologise to all our esteemed customers and assure them that we are working to restore normal services speedily, I am also once again seeking governmental intervention as these cases now border on national security,” Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mickael Ghossein said.

Mr Ghossein said the cut had prompted the firm to resort to a redundant traffic transmission avenue via satellite.

 “The losses we stand to incur on this cable cut alone stand at more than Sh50million not to mention our customer losses which are a huge burden on the economy,” he added.

A team of Telkom Kenya engineers have been dispatched to Sultan Hamud to facilitate repair works on the vandalised section with normal services expected to be restored as soon as possible.

The incident comes two months after the government said it had launched investigations into sabotage claims of telecommunication’s network systems.

Information Permanent Secretary Dr Bitange Ndemo made the remarks a day after Safaricom’s network was affected by five cuts on the Kenya Data Networks cable in Nairobi, which disrupted their normal data and voice traffic.

Mr Ndemo warned that the culprits who are continually damaging other firms’ networks would be found-out and dealt with accordingly.

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Cable cuts have been very rampant in recent months in what industry players’ suspect is as a result of sabotage by their competitors.

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