‘ISPs Should Hatch a Solution for Internet Blackouts’

The Zimbabwe Information and Communication Technologies (ZICT) is calling on Zimbabwean Internet Service Providers to collectively devise a panacea for the December 5th, Internet Black Out never to repeat itself. 

The nation was plunged into an internet oblivion on Tuesday where Econet owned ISP and Internet Access Provider Liquid Telecom was largely affected.

Later on in the day, State owned converged telecommunication company TelOne was hit too.ZICT chairperson Jacob Mutisi said they find it appalling that the nation with its US$1 billion telecommunication industry was ill-prepared for this internet catastrophy.

“What worries me even more in that the ICT sector and the country did not have a back-up system in place? They had to make a plan to connect through Botswana after 6 hours in order for Zimbabwe to have internet access.

“We are calling on all ISPs to come together and come up with a long-term solution to this problem in order for it not to happen again,” he said.

Acknowledging the role ICT plays in national development, he said the organisation was duped into believing that Zimbabwe had plenty gateways.

“Zimbabwe is an ICT driven economy and internet is the backbone of the country. All the years as ZICT (Zimbabwe Information and Communication Technologies) we were under the impression that Zimbabwe has several internet gateways considering that we have several Mobile Network Operators, Telecommunication companies, etc.

” It was only on the 5th of December 2017 that we as engineers discovered that there is only one internet gateway into Zimbabwe after there was a complete internet shutdown,” he said.

After further investigations, ZICT discovered that a tractor  ploughed and severed a cable owned by Liquid entrenched in South Africa.

‘The cause of the shutdown according to the reliable sources was caused by the cutting of cables by a tractor in South Africa not in Zimbabwe.

“According to the source the tractor was ploughing a field and cut a cable belonging Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe an Internet Service provider in Zimbabwe and the internet was completely shut down.

“This proved a point that all the other service providers are riding on Liquid considering that they were not able to offer and services when the cable was cut,” said Mutisi.

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