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NATCOM refutes blocking internet in Sierra Leone

NATCOM refutes blocking internet in Sierra Leone

THE NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (NATCOM) HEREBY WISHES TO DRAW THE ATTENTION OF THE PUBLIC TO UNFOUNDED AND BASELESS MESSAGES MAKING THE ROUNDS IN THE MEDIA, ESPECIALLY SOCIAL MEDIA, THAT THE COMISSION BLOCKED/TERMINATED INTERNET ACCESS TO ALL NETWORKS IN SIERRA LEONE IN THE WAKE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL RUN-OFF.  THE COMMISION VIEWS THIS MIS-INFORMATION WITH UTTER DISMAY AND A CALCULATED PLOY TO TARNISH ITS IMAGE, AND THEREFORE INCLINED TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT.

THE COMMISSION WISHES TO REITERATE THAT AS THE NATIONAL REGULATORY AUTHORITY OF THE ICT SECTOR, IT DOES NOT PROVIDE ICT SERVICES NOR DOES IT OPERATE A MOBILE NETWORK.

THE COMMISSION ALSO WISHES IT TO BE MADE KNOWN THAT IT DID NOT AT ANY TIME ORDER ANY MOBILE NETWORK OPERATOR (MNO) TO BLOCK OR SUSPEND ITS INTERNET SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC. INFACT, THE COMMISSION EQUALLY SUFFERED THE SAID INTERNET SERVCE DISRUPTION DURING THIS PERIOD.

THE COMMISSION HEREBY TAKES THIS OPPORTUNITY TO INFORM THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAT INTERNET ACCESS TO SIERRA LEONE IS MAINLY THROUGH THE AFRICA COAST TO EUROPE (ACE) SUBMARINE CABLE WHICH IS MANAGED BY THE SIERRA LEONE CABLE COMPANY (SALCAB). AS A RESPONSIBLE REGULATOR, THE COMMISSION CONTACTED SALCAB AND WAS INFORMED THAT THERE WAS A PROBLEM WITH THE SUBMARINE CABLE IN MAURITANIA WHICH AFFECTED SERVICE TO SIERRA LEONE. NOTE THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ENSURING CONSTANT INTERNET ACCESS TO SIERRA LEONE FALLS TOTALLY UNDER THE PURVIEW OF SALCAB. NATCOM ONLY PROVIDES OVERSIGHT TO ENSURE THAT SUCH ACCESS IS PROVIDED ACCORDING TO STANDARD INTERNATIONAL BEST PRACTICE AT AFFORDABLE PRICES.

THE COMMISSION THEREFORE CALLS ON SALCAB TO PUT OUT A STATEMENT EXPLAINING THE ISSUES SURROUNDING THE LOSS OF SERVICE


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