29 Jan 2019

Tonga had assurances cable almost failproof - Senituli

11:33 am on 29 January 2019

Moves are already underway to ensure Tonga can cope with any further communication blackouts.

Tonga lost its internet and phone connections on Sunday last week when the Tonga Cable linking it with Fiji was cut.

A second cable to the outer islands was also severed.

ERDF (Electricity Network Distribution France) and Louis Dreyfus company install an electric submarine cable and optical fiber between Quiberon and Belle-Ile-en-mer, western France, in 2015.

Photo: AFP

A government spokesperson, Lopeti Senituli, said there were already talks between Tonga Cable, the Tonga Communications Corporation and the Ministry of Communications, to ensure such a problem doesn't recur.

He said the government had previously been given an understanding there was almost no chance of the cable failing.

"When we hooked up to this optic fibre cable we were given the guarantee that the chances of a disconnection, or an accidental disconnection, was 00.0011, so it was virtually non-existent," Lopeti Senituli said.

Since late last week satellite links have helped to ease connection problems, but capacity is still low.

A repair vessel, which arrived in Nuku'alofa on Monday night, is due to begin repairs which could take a week or more to complete.

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