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Undersea cable: How Nigerian telcos can avoid another internet disruption – WIOCC CEO



Chris Wood

The Chief Executive Officer of West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC), Mr. Chris Wood has shared strategies that could prevent future internet disruption in Nigeria in case of another undersea cable damage incident.

Speaking during a virtual conference on Monday against the backdrop of the recent damage to 4 undersea cables, Wood said the best strategy to prevent internet service disruption is for the telecom operators to connect to all available cables in the country.

Wood noted that the impacts of the damage to WACS, ACE, Main One, and SAT3 subsea cables would not have been felt if the operators were also connected to the two other cables not affected, Glo-1 and Equiano.

In addition, he said there is also a need for more cables to be landed in the country to provide redundancy, although it is a cost-intensive project. According to him, landing a cable from Europe to Africa will cost about $1 billion.

While the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has called for joint security of the West African countries to protect the undersea cables, Wood said little can be achieved with physical security because most damages are caused by natural events.

Meanwhile, WIOCC, which landed the Equiano cable in Nigeria has been leading the continent’s response to the cable cuts. According to Wood, WIOCC has restored over 100 links now and brought more people into its OADC data center in Lagos, which has connectivity directly to the Equiano system.

He said the company is also making bigger investments in new systems and has just deployed over $100 million of capital in accessing new subsea systems. He disclosed that the company will be landing the 2Africa cable in Nigeria later this year at two points, one in Lagos and another in Qua Iboe.

For the repair of the damaged cables, Wood said three repair ships have been mobilized.