• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Internet service remains stable amid SAT-3 facility cut


The South Atlantic 3 (SAT-3)/West Africa Submarine Cable (WASC), the 15, 000 kilometres underwater cable system, managed by the incumbent national carrier, the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), has been severely damaged, though the nation’s internet market has remained relatively stable and efficient, market observers have said.

Prior to 2010, any damage to SAT-3 would have created widespread pandemonium as the entire nation would experience an internet blackout.

Currently, Nigeria is already experiencing a glut in terms of international bandwidth capacity, with four new cables facilities landing on the nation’s shores.

Henry Ise Okogie, executive vice chairman, Broadbased Communications, a fibre infrastructure company, confirmed the recent development, saying, “SAT-3 has been cut for over a year now. NITEL is owned by a consortium of 35 countries, including Nigeria.”

According to him, the Nigeriansmoribund NITEL and the consortium have been able to revitalise the cable infrastructure for over a year now. Companies have being forced to use fibre alternatives as well as satellite links – to maintain connections to the rest of the world, according to him.

“The impact is not been felt because we have alternative cable systems such as Glo-1, MainOne, West Africa Cable System (WACS) and ACE”, said Okogie in an interview.
The combined capacity of these cable infrastructure is about 14.5 terabits, he said, further adding that the dedicated spectrum frequency available to all mobile operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to distribute wireless account for 2.5 percent of the entire lot. He said Nigeria’s under-developed distribution networks, including terrestrial fibre and lastmile connectivity are militating against the optimal utilisation of the undersea cable systems.

Lending his own view, Ejovi Aror, chief executive officer, ipNX Nigeria Limited, is of the view that the cost of broadband has reduced significantly at the wholesale side due to the coming of the submarine cables.