Government mulls to lay more fibre optic, ministry of ICT

By William Madouk

The government and partners are exerting efforts to lay more fiber optic cables for the delivery of quality and affordable services, said Michael Makuei, the minister of Information, Communication, Technology and postal services.

Mr. Makuei stated on his Facebook page over the weekend that he is aware of the challenges faced by telecommunication companies due to single fiber optic.

“The Leadership of the Ministry of ICT and Postal Services… is aware of the challenges faced by the telecom operators in delivering quality services, due to a single Fiber cable that is coming from Uganda,” partly reads the statement seen by this outlet.

Makuei was reacting to continuous fiber optic cuts that affect and interrupt data network that brings the nation’s internet into its knees.

Fiber optic cables are designed for long-distance, high-performance data networking and telecommunications, it aims to provide internet users with high speed and cheap internet costs.

The information minister assured that his docket and associates are working to install additional fiber optics for improved services and reasonable prices.

“The Ministry is currently working with partners to bring multiple Fiber Optic cables from various locations to address the matter so that the operators would be able to deliver quality and affordable services to the people across the country,” he noted.

Additionally, ministry of Information said in collaboration with parastatals institutions and operators they are doubling efforts to connect the rural areas with telecommunication services.

Recent fiber optic cut has mired data network in the country putting many costumers to heap complaints as online businesses and studies were brought to standstill. 

Many costumers see telecommunication firms as not doing well in terms of offering quality services, this forced MTN, one of largest telecom to say sorry for the inconveniences caused by fiber cuts.

“We sincerely apologies for technical problems experienced in the last couples of hours on our data network. It was due to multiple cut out of South Sudan,” MTN South Sudan said in statement yesterday.

“Our engineers, working with our partners have managed to restore connectivity. We sincerely apologize for inconvenience,” it stated.

One MTN user says “Every time you have fiber cut, either in Uganda or outside South Sudan, upgrade your servers and offer good internet services. MTN is the most expensive service provider in the country.”

Another added “Then you shouldn’t allow people to be able to buy data when you know it can’t be used and it will expire before it is being used. Reimburse people’s data, kalam farik.”

Another angry MTN user urged the firm to compensate him “I must be compensated by MTN because I lost a lot of money in the hours of Internet disruption,” he said.

In October 2022, the National Communication Authority (NCA) and a Sudanese telecommunication and internet provider – Sudatel agreed to lay fiber optics cable from Sudan to connect Bentiu and Mayom County of Unity State.

At same note the government of South Sudan and Djibouti signed an agreement to install fiber optics cable from Djibouti through Ethiopia to the capital Juba in September 2022.

Minister of Information Michael Makuei Lueth, said the two countries will now form a technical team to deliberate on the project’s progression.

Djibouti fiber optics is not the first infrastructure South Sudan is connecting to. In January 2020, broadband connectivity provider Liquid Intelligent Technologies announced the effective installation of a 200KM fiber backbone connecting the Ugandan border to Juba, Via Nimule.

This interconnection was complemented by several metropolitan nodes in the capital. 

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