29 Jan 2019

Ship arrives in Tonga to begin cable repairs

11:47 am on 29 January 2019

While the Tonga government says the impact of the communication shutdown on its activities has been minimal, that's not the case for many others in the country.

A repair ship has now arrived in the country with the hope it can fix two breaks in the submarine cables within the week.

The breaks had cut Tonga off from the outside world for several days.

Temporary satellite links have since helped and patchy phone service is now restored to much of the country, but internet access is still non-existent in the outer islands.

Broadcomm journalist Marian Kupu spoke about one money transfer office she visited on Monday.

"There were a lot of people queuing inside and outside the building, trying to get money from their families overseas. As you know school is starting this week and most likely, at this time, they have family overseas sending them money to buy the students stationery and what not. So there is a slow movement in that area, money transfer."

Marian Kupu said another impact was Tongan businesses struggling to get payment out to their overseas suppliers.

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