By Ben Uzor, Business Day

The South Atlantic 3 (SAT-3)/West Africa Submarine Cable (WASC), the 15,000 kilometre underwater cable system, managed by the incumbent national carrier, the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), has been severely damaged for some time now, though the nation’s internet market has remained relatively stable and efficient, market observers have said.

Prior to 2010, any damage to SAT-3 would have created widespread pandemonium as the entire nation would experience an internet blackout. This is no longer the case as Nigeria is already experiencing a glut in terms of international bandwidth capacity, with four new cables facilities sitting pretty on the nation’s shores.

Henry Ise Okogie, executive vice chairman, Broadbased Communications, an fibre infrastructure company, confirmed the recent development, saying, “SAT-3 has been cut for over a year now. NITEL is owned by a consortium of 35 countries, including Nigeria.

According to him, the moribund NITEL and the consortium has been able to revitalise the cable infrastructure for over a year now. Companies have being forced to use fibre alternatives as well as satellite links – to maintain connections to the rest of the world, according to him. “The impact is not been felt because we have alternative cable systems such as Glo-1, MainOne, West Africa Cable System ( WACS) and ACE,” said Okogie in an interview.

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