(Mogadishu, 17 July 2017) The Federal Government of Somalia in collaboration with the owner of the fiber-optic cable has successfully restored Internet and data services to South and Central Somalia.
The loss of Internet and data services for nearly three weeks caused considerable economic damage to many sectors of the Somali economic, such as commerce, education, healthcare, and the delivery of Government services.
The Ministry of Post, Telecommunications and Technology put enormous focus and spared no efforts in trying to minimize the damage to the nation’s economy by assisting the owner of the fiber-optic cable to expedite the restoration of the services and by providing permits and security protection to the repair ship.
Recognizing the enormity of the negative economic impact this incident had on the country’s economy and public services, the Ministry is committed to work with all public and private stakeholders to ensure an outage of this magnitude and length does not occur again. The following measures are needed to prevent similar future incidents:
1. There is greater need than ever for the Parliament to pass the National Communication Law that has been submitted to the Parliament on 10 July 2017 after the Cabinet approved it on 22 June 2017. The Law would have protected the interests of consumers, telecommunication companies, other companies as well as the public sector who would have clear legal recourse through the Law to recover damages and/or levy fines on telecommunication companies who didn’t meet their legal commitment.
2. The Telecommunication companies providing undersea infrastructure are required to work with the relevant Government agencies to prevent ships docking at the Mogadishu port from damaging this vital infrastructure.
3. Telecommunication service providers will be required to provide backup and failover methods for their services to minimize the impact of outages.
4. The Government will promote and encourages investors to invest in other cable systems. This unfortunate outage clealy demonstrated how the pervasiveness of usage and the critical nature of the Internet for the country’s economic and social life.
5. The Ministry is working on a national communication and information technologies policy in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders. This policy will ensure that every citizen would get basic Internet and telecommunication services with adequate speed and affordable cost.
Finally the Ministry would like to thank the Somali people for their understanding and patience during this difficult period. We hope and expect that if the aforementioned steps were taken similar incidents would not occur again.