Minister of Transport and Communications, Tshenolo Mabeo says power failure, vandalism and theft of copper and fibre cables are the main contributors to disruptions in telecommunications services.
Mabeo was speaking in Parliament on behalf of his predecessor Nonofo Molefhi. He said power supply challenges accounted for most of the outages of telecommunications networks and services. Mabeo was responding to a question from the floor, on why government offices were always affected by network failures.
He said when there was a power failure in a certain area it negatively affected the telecommunications networks, leading to disruption of several services.
Mabeo said services were sometimes hampered by accidental destruction of cables by civil works contractors. He also said occasionally, systems failed due to various faults in the telecommunication network, which included system failures at the Government Data Centre. He said the Ministry had embarked on a rigorous process of enhancing the system failover systems to minimise such failures, adding that if funds permitted the projects would be implemented in the next financial year.
Mabeo stated that in order to mitigate power failures, operators had installed standby power supplies such as solar panels and generators.
He also said in order to address disruptions due to optical fibre networks cuts, which deploy services to the public, Government through Botswana Fibre Network Pty (Ltd) was building network resilience in different strategic alternative routes, adding that similarly, all the operators had been asked to improve their network performances.
Mabeo also said telecommunications operators were required in terms of their license conditions to report any network unavailability to the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA). He added that they were required to publicly communicate with customers, users and the public in general, via local media or any other means, if such disruptions occurred.