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 Gambia Six Hours Without Internet

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Momodou Posted - 02 Feb 2021 : 20:53:15
The Gambia Six Hours Without Internet, The Second Outage In Less Than A Month

By Frederic Tendeng
The Chronicle: Feb 2, 2021

GAMTEL's photographic description of the January 2021 Internet shutdown

The Gambia has this Tuesday suffered another Internet shutdown for about six hours, with all operators being severed of any bandwidth data transmission while customers struggled to understand what happened.

It was only hours after the Internet outage hit the country that some service providers began sending scanty text messages to customers to fault a cable cut and crave for the subscribers indulgence.

The Gambia Telecommunications Company (GAMTEL), the main Internet gateway and service provider to the country only came out to explain what happened seven hours after the breakdown, when the wide bandwidth data transmission was finally restored. “In the past few hours we have experienced a links failures on ACE and backup link impacting general traffic which was beyond our control. Our engineers worked tirelessly with our international partner for immediate solution. While we continue to monitor the connectivity, we thank all our customers for patience and apologies for any inconvenience this have caused” GAMTEL said in a social media post.

It’s the second time The Gambia is off Internet connection as we may recall that in early January, an ACE cable shunt fault was blamed to have caused a shutdown of the Internet ACE traffic for over a week. As The Gambia has an unfit for purpose Internet backup infrastructure, GAMTEL announced that it has rerouted all its Internet traffic via its Senegal’s hosted SONATEL link.
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toubab1020 Posted - 10 Feb 2021 : 22:19:38


February 10, 2021

The president of the IT Association of The Gambia, Ms Beran Dondeh-Gillen, has released a statement on behalf of her association expressing its dismay over the recent frequent Internet outages in the country.

The release issued yesterday stated: “The IT Association of The Gambia (ITAG) notes with disappointment yet again the Internet outage that occurred this Tuesday 9th February around 7am. In a space of five weeks, The Gambia has seen four Internet outages ranging from four hours to over 10 hours. ITAG as the umbrella body of all ICT companies in The Gambia would like to highlight the effect this downtime has had on not only its membership but the public and private sector.

“The economic effect of these outages when calculated are in the millions across the tech industry alone. Where more and more businesses are working online and struggling with the effects of the pandemic, Internet outages have compounded the losses businesses have incurred significantly, causing some to close shop temporarily.

Beran Dondeh-Gillen, the president of ITAG said: “The Internet is the heart of every company, in these pandemic times were systems work more online than offline. These outages have not only an economic and financial impact but also a social impact that affects our lives and livelihood. It is therefore pertinent that the right policies are put in place and implemented to ensure redundancy in our access to critical resources such as the Internet.”
Momodou Posted - 09 Feb 2021 : 15:19:04
No internet connection in Gambia today either!!!
toubab1020 Posted - 03 Feb 2021 : 10:36:37



Mustapha Jallow on February 2, 2021.

The Public Relations Officer of the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), Pierre Silva has confirmed to Foroyaa that their personnel working for their Indian Project at Farato cut an internet cable which caused internet black-out on Tuesday afternoon 2nd February, 2021.

PRO Silva said the officials of the aforesaid project were digging to lay pipes and “they ran into an internet cable and cut it.”

Silva’s confirmation came after Foroyaa informed him about a credible source who informed this medium that the blackout was as a result of “fiber cut on the internet cable at Farato.”

The source, who pleaded for anonymity, told Foroyaa that NAWEC officers cut an internet backup cable at Farato while dipping and/or fixing their water pipes.

The source added that a technical team was immediately deployed on the ground to ensure they repair the cable and restore the internet back.

“But I think the power has been restored,” PRO Silva said.

According to Silva, he made calls to confirm our insider’s information.

He said first called the IT Director of NAWEC, but his number was engaged, and so he had to call their managing director (NAWEC), who confirmed to him that it is true that personnel working for their Indian Project were digging at Farato and ran into an internet cable and then cut it in the process and he (MD) was contacted by Qcell.

Meanwhile, several hours of internet black-out has disrupted many businesses, especially those within the Kanifing Municipality.

Many work places, which heavily rely on internet to carry out their businesses, suffered the most setbacks. Customer service operators and consumers were among those hard hit.

Also, many people couldn’t buy cash power as a result of this hitch.

“There is an internet problem throughout the country so they cannot sell cash power when there is no internet,” NAWEC PRO, Pierre Silva told Foroyaa.

It was observed that commercial banks in the Kanifing Municipality and their customers were hit too. Sight of frustrations could be seen in the faces of most customers, especially those who rely on daily withdrawal.

Ida Cham, a customer found sitting outside Trust Bank Limited at Westfield, described the internet problem as “frustrating’’ because she came for withdrawal, but she was told that there was no internet.

“I came to withdraw some money for tomorrow’s ‘fish money’ but I felt disappointed after I was told that there was no internet. And I have run out of cash for tomorrow,” she narrated.

A lady who doesn’t want her name to be mentioned, said the bank she went was only rendering services to those who came for deposits. Those who wish to withdraw could not be accorded the opportunity because there was no internet.
toubab1020 Posted - 03 Feb 2021 : 10:27:09

"GAMTEL announced that it has rerouted all its Internet traffic via its Senegal’s hosted SONATEL link."

Gambians should welcome this neighbourle assistance from Senegal whilst repairs take place with ACE infrusture which operates in quite a hostile environment,In case Dear Reader you are baffled by what ACE is I have found a Gambian link that will start you on your guest for information on ACE, if you want to know more open the link below:


The Gambia is one of the African Countries which remains to date without connectivity to submarine cable and rely exclusively on satellite communications and fibre optic connection through neighboring countries for international connectivity. The result has been an unreliable service and high prices for international calls and internet connection. This, coupled with a deteriorating national backbone infrastructure has created a difficult environment for expanding availability. The lack of access to low price and high quality telecommunication services is one of the factors that limits The Gambia’s potential to create jobs, expand production of goods and services and trade competitively with the rest of the world.

The Government of The Gambia (GOTG) in its quest to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and its blue print “Vision 2020” objectives saw the need for improving The Gambia’s international connectivity, as well as for greater regional economic and communication infrastructure integration. For this reason, the GOTG has decided, along with many other West African countries, to become a member of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) fiber-cable project.

A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) “The Gambia Submarine Cable Co. Ltd” has been established between the private Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) operators, the Internet Service Providers (ISP), the GOTG and the Gambia Telecommunications Company (GAMTEL/GAMCEL) to participate in the ACE consortium and secure access to capacity.

The Government of The Gambia through GAMTEL signed the ACE “Construction and Maintenance Agreement” (C&MA;) on 5th June 2010 and has accordingly become a member of the ACE consortium and will be part of the new fiber-cable system. This support forms part of the West Africa Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (WARCIP)Gambia Project prepared by the GOTG with financial support from the World Bank through an International Development Association (IDA) grant of US$35 million.

On 12th September 2011, the ACE fibre cable from France landed in The Gambia the beach by the Lemon Creek Hotel in Bijilo at about 13:10 hrs. The official landing was witnessed by key stakeholders from the telecoms industry in The Gambia as well as by PURA.

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