Takoradi, July 23, GNA- The management of MTN Ghana has expressed displeasure over recurrent fibre cuts along the corridors of Western and Central Regions by illegal miners, private developers and road contractors which negatively affected its operations.
Mr Teddy Hayford-Acquah, the Western Regional Technical Manager of MTN, told a stakeholders engagement in Takoradi that the telecommunication company suffered an average of three times fibre cuts daily since the beginning of the year and millions of Ghana Cedis had to be spent in fixing them.
He said the company had over 700 kilometres of optical fibre cables from Kasoa to Elubo which are connected cell sites in the two regions.
He said the fibre cuts along the corridors isolated the cell sites leading to subscribers experiencing difficulty in reaching their call destinations.
This affected individuals and businesses that depended on the network for their operations.
“Lack of stable network service presents serious security implications such as lack of secure and guaranteed access to Emergency Service numbers”, he said.
The company spent $14,400 and $24,400 in fixing a kilometer of the damaged fibre cables in rural and urban areas respectively and this is a drain on its financial resources, he said.
Mr Hayford-Acquah said the company secured permission from the Ghana Highways Authority to lay the fibre cables within the corridors reserved for utility and telecommunication companies.
However, he said, the illegal miners encroached and damaged the company’s fibre cables along the Tarkwa/Bogoso, Tarkwa/Damang and Tarkwa/Anyanfuri routes with impunity, adding that those arrested were set free because some influential persons in the country often pleaded for their release.
The Regional Technical Officer added that some road contractors and private developers along Apeminim/Elubo and Takoradi/Cape Coast routes also damaged their fibre cables during road construction resulting in poor quality service to its subscribers.
He noted that section 77 of the Electronic Communications Act 2008, stipulates that any person who recklessly, maliciously or negligently damages, removes or destroys a facility used in connection with the operation or provision of electronic communications network or service, commits an offence.
This is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than three thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or both.
He appealed to the Regional Police Commander to enforce the law by prosecuting persons and institutions involved in such impunity in order to serve as deterrent to others.
Mr Hayford-Acquah said the telecommunication company had begun engagements with the Association of Road Contractors, the Ghana High Authority, the Urban Roads Department and the media, to sensitise the populace and find an amicable solution to the menace.