Tonga faces weeks of Internet disruption

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — People in Tonga could face several weeks without Facebook, YouTube and even some basic services like credit card transactions due to a fault in the undersea cable that connects the Pacific nation to the rest of the world.

Something went wrong with the cable last Sunday night. Initially it wiped out access to the Internet almost entirely, and meant people couldn’t even make international phone calls.

A small Internet company that uses satellites has stepped in and helped restore international calls and some other services the government considers vital. But people still typically can’t access social media sites such as Facebook and some businesses remain unable to process credit or debit card transactions.

Pesi Fonua, publisher of news website Matangi Tonga, said it’s difficult for everybody and “a nuisance”.