Dhiraagu has said it does not wish to speculate on a date for the completion of repairs to a damaged section of submarine cable that has severely impacted its internet services over the last week.
The local telecoms group said that until repair work commences on April 25, the company would not be able address the scale and cause of the damage to a section of cable based 26 kilometres from the Sri Lankan coast. However, a spokesperson stressed to Minivan News that the cause of damage to the cable was being seen as an “accident” at present.
Company Chief Executive Ismail Rasheed today told local media that Dhiraagu would be providing compensation for customers affected by the disruption to its internet services as it works to increase capacity.
Dhiraagu has been looking for so called “diversity routes” since the damage occurred to the cable last Wednesday (April 18), forcing it to provide a “degraded” service to its internet customers, whilst prioritising e-mail and browsing services.
Dhiraagu added that as part of a national agreement, telecoms rival Wataniya would be assisting in providing data capacity from its own unaffected submarine cable. The company has said that is is also working to strengthen its satellite operations for international phone services.
Company spokesperson Imjad Jaleel has told Minivan News that the Asean Explorer vessel equipped to enact repairs on submarine cables was still expected to leave India on Tuesday before arriving in Sri Lanka the next day.
According to the company, the damage has been located to a section of cable situated 40 metres below the Sri Lankan waters. The cable itself connects Sri Lanka directly to the island of Huhlumale’. From Hulhumale’, this signal is then carried across the country’s scattered atolls.
Spokesperson Imjad stressed that the company would not yet be speculating on a date for full services to resume until it could offer more detailed information to its customers.
The damage sustained to its cable was still being considered an “accident”, possibly resulting from an errant anchor, he added.
The company claimed that preliminary testing had shown that the damage was not believed to have resulted from earth quakes or other geological occurrences, leaving anchoring ships as the most probable cause.
According to Imjad, the cable itself is situated in one of two areas in Sri Lankan waters specifically set aside for the country to house its underwater communications cables. In these areas, the anchoring of ships is not permitted, he added.
“We believe that there could have been an accident with an anchor perhaps accidentally being dropped in these waters, but we will only be able to asses fully on April 25,” Imjad claimed.