ASCON Seeks Collaboration With NCC for Protection of Submarine Cables
By Blessing Olaifa, The Nation
July 16, 2019
The Association of Submarine Cable Operators of Nigeria (ASCON) has requested for collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) towards protection of submarine fibre optic cables in the nation.
This collaboration, it said, was necessary in view of the crucial role submarine cables play in towards providing broadband services and how it impacts significantly on the everyday life of Nigerians.
The group was also emphasised these cables are vulnerable to damages resulting from external aggression occasioned by human maritime activities that impact the seabed.
Examples of such activities are ship anchoring, dredging, harmful fishing practices like bottom trawl fishing, unguided pipeline installations and maintenance etc.”
The Association noted the cost of repairing damage to submarine cables was huge and could range from $1m to $3m to repair a single fault.”
The group said its members spend between $1million and $3million to fix the vandalism.
The President, Mr. Ifeloju Alakija, who led members of the association on a visit to the NCC, said it was important that the regulator intervenes towards ensuring that submarine cables are regarded as critical national infrastructure, and adequately protected from damages occasioned by human activities that occur on the ocean floor.
Alakija lamented that over the years, the five operators of submarine cable in the country have been victims of 13 aggression.
“We are seeking areas of possible collaboration with NCC towards achieving solutions to the challenges within the submarine cable segment of the Telecoms industry.
“We would also be happy to hear your perspectives on some of the key issues regarding the management, operations and protection of submarine cable infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure in Nigeria.
“In Nigeria we have the benefit of having five of such cables landing on our shore and delivering over 40 terabytes of internet traffic capacity. These cables are the SAT3 cable, MainOne cable, Glo1 cable, ACE cable, and WACS cable, landed by Natcom, MainOne, Glo 1, Dolphin Telecom and MTN,” Alakija said.