Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Internet disruptions due to cable thefts

Azlan Othman

Two incidents of fibre cable theft have caused disruptions to Internet services, affecting between 19,000 and 22,000 users nationwide.

The cables were stolen from Sungai Taring and Sungai Taring-Telisai on Thursday night, and from Kampong Jerudong on Friday morning.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah said this at a press conference yesterday, adding that “a chainsaw was used to cut the cables” and that the disruptions started from 9pm onwards on Thursday.

“It affected online learning for students. Unified National Networks (UNN) engineers had to work until 7am the next day before completing the job around noon.

“The thefts are pointless as fibre cables have no market value, unlike the previously used copper cables. The thieves must have thought that they could sell it on the market,” the minister said.

The cable theft in Kampong Jerudong occurred at 10am, and the matter was rectified by noon.

Meanwhile, with regards to the two international submarine cables that were damaged recently, the minister said, “The incident is beyond our control. The damage has reduced the Internet speed from 100 gigabits per second to 60 gigabits per second.”

One of the international submarine cables is expected to be repaired on March 15, and will be upgraded to an increased speed of 140 gigabits per second.

Restoration work on the other submarine cable is expected to be delayed, and will not be repaired on March 24, as previously announced.