- Cape Verde has suffered from a strongly reduced telephone and Internet connectivity for 15 days after the main underwater fibre optic cable connecting the archipelago with the world was damaged by a fishing boat in an accident. As the damages now are repaired, a Cape Verdean court will have to decide who is to pay the repair costs.
Cabo Verde Telecom's ability to handle international telephone and Internet traffic has finally returned to normal. The cable in the Atlantis II system, which links Cape Verde to the rest of the world and which was damaged on 15 November, has been repaired after four days of work by a group of specialists from Curaçao.
After 15 days operating at approximately 50 percent of capacity, telephone service to and from Cape Verde has returned to normal this week with the repair of the underwater cable, which was cut on the morning of 15 November some 3.5 kilometres from the Cape Verdean capital, Praia.
A Cabo Verde Telecom official told 'A Semana Online' that the company had only to run a number of tests before the process was to be considered complete.
The underwater cable was cut by a fishing boat that was operating in the zone. At the time, CV Telecom said that "the consequence of this situation is a significant reduction in the capacity to handle international traffic, with certain difficulties verified in voice communications and an interruption in international Internet connections."
As for the losses Cabo Verde Telecom could suffer as a result of the problem, the source at the telecommunications company said that "the repair of the underwater cable was carried out within the framework of the Atlantis II consortium, and the direct cost will be supported by the owners of the cable."
But Cabo Verde Telecom does not plan to take on the economic responsibility for the damaged on the fibre optics cable caused by the fishing boat. The company that owns the boat has not offered to pay the costs resulting from its repair and prefers to discuss the issue in court.
A provisional deposit of 600,000 escudos (euro 5,500) has been placed in the bank BCA to guarantee payment in the event that courts rule in favour of Cabo Verde Telecom, in which case the Cape Verdean telecommunications company will demand not only reimbursement for the repair of the cable and the losses experienced over the 15 days during which services were interrupted, but also payment for the harm done to the company's image.
Cabo Verde Telecom's losses include the rental of space on the INTELSAT II satellite and the payment of repair services on the fibre optics cable.
A source at Cabo Verde Telecom told 'A Semana Online' that, immediately after the cable was damaged in an incident prior to last month's, the company spent some 15,000,000 escudos (euro 136,000) on lit buoys to mark the path of the fibre optics cable in Cape Verde’s ports.
And as these buoys are already included on international sea charts, CV Telecom officials say that no merchant marine captain can claim not to be aware of the existence of the cable linking Cape Verde to the rest of the world.
The rupture of the fibre optics cable mainly affected Internet connections in the country, which yesterday returned to normal. Telephone connections were only affected in the first hours following the accident and were normalised soon thereafter, as Cabo Verde Telecom has space reserved on the INTELSAT II satellite for this type of operation.
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