Internet problems persist in Zimbabwe

Internet users in Zimbabwe continue to experience slow and intermittent service, almost 6 weeks after two separate shipping accidents severed a crucial internet and phone link for the region.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa reports that internet speeds were frustratingly slow over the weekend and on Monday. On Tuesday the service appeared to be improving. One of the Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) Powertel had to issue a statement explaining that the problem was beyond their control.

In February a ship dragging its anchor off the coast of the Kenyan port city of Mombasa severed an undersea cable that cut off some nine African countries, including Zimbabwe. Engineers warned the repairs could take up to a month.

Another cable severed in two is known as EASSy and is owned by the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC). The WIOCC is jointly owned by 14 major telecom operators in Africa, including Zimbabwe’s TelOne. Experts say Zimbabwe was hardest hit by the accident which cut the cable.

Last month Information and Communication Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa also told us his ministry was inundated with complaints about poor internet speeds. On Tuesday Muchemwa said mobile phone networks were also having problems with crossed lines and people were struggling to top up their airtime. – SW Radio Africa News

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