Dhiraagu internet service “restored” after successful repair test

Dhiraagu has said that internet services affected by a damaged section of submarine cable off the Sri Lankan Coast have been “restored” after testing on repairs proved successful today.

The cable was damaged on the evening of Wednesday April 18 forcing the company to provide a “degraded” service to national internet customers for several days as it sought out “diversity routes” to reduce the impact to its operations.

The repair work, which was carried out jointly by Dhiraagu and Sri Lankan Telecom (SLT), commenced last week after a specially equipped repair vessel called the Asean Explorer made its way to Sri Lanka from India.

Company spokesperson Imjad Jaleel told Minivan News that testing on the repaired cable had been under way today to ensure that the company could provide a “normal service” to its clients.  By this evening, Dhiraagu announced the tests had been successful and that its broadband capacity had been restored.

According to Dhiraagu, the damaged section of cable, situated 26 miles off the Sri Lankan coast and 40 metres below the water had been damaged by the anchor of a ship.  The damage was found to have occurred in an area of Sri Lankan waters where vessels were not permitted to anchor, the company had previously announced.

Whilst repairs were being undertaken, the company said it had been working to improve the quality of internet services and international calls affected by the cable damage through alternative avenues like the use of satellites.

Last week, chief national telecoms rival Wataniya announced it was also assisting in the provision of data capacity from its own cable as part of a national agreement to cover any disruptions to the Maldives communication network.  Dhiraagu said it has been paying Wataniya for the data capacity allowance.


Repair work commences on Dhiraagu submarine cable

Dhiraagu has reportedly commenced work this afternoon on repairing a damaged section of submarine cable off the Sri Lankan coast responsible for disrupting the company’s internet services in the Maldives over the last week.

Local media has reported that repair work on the cable began at around 2pm this afternoon in a collaboration between Dhiraagu technicians and engineers from Sri Lankan Telecom (SLT).

Commencement of the repair work has been dependent on the arrival of a specially equipped ship called the Asean Explorer, which completed its journey from India to Sri Lanka yesterday.  It is not known yet how long repairs may take, though Dhraagu claims it has continued to work on strengthening services and capacity for its internet clients.

Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the company said it did not wish to speculate on the possible cause of the damage to the submarine cable that connects Dhiraagu’s Maldivian broadband network to the wider world.


Dhiraagu reveals cable repair vessel to arrive April 25, discusses compensation

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.

Asean Explorer

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.


Dhiraagu expects submarine cable repairs to begin Wednesday

Repair work to a damaged submarine cable that has affected internet services provided by local telecoms group Dhiraagu is expected to begin on Wednesday, local media has reported.

Dhiraagu has been having to provide a “degraded” internet service since Wednesday evening after a section of submarine cable located 26km off the coast of Sri Lanka was damaged. The cable is used by the group to provide internet service to the Maldives.

Despite initial estimates that the problem would be resolved in three to four days, the company now expects repairs to begin once a specially equipped repair vessel arrives in Sri Lanka. The ship is expected to arrive Tuesday, according to local newspaper Haveeru.

The company has said that in the meantime it is continuing its work on supplying “diversity routes” that will allow it to try and prioritise offering web browsing and e-mail services to customers.

Wataniya, Dhiraagu’s main competitor in the national telecommunications market, has said in a press release that it will aim to assist in providing data capacity through its own unaffected submarine cable network.


Dhiraagu warns of “degraded” internet service over submarine cable damage

Dhiraagu has said its internet customers could face “degraded service” for the next few days as work is undertaken to repair a damaged submarine cable between the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Dhiraagu spokesperson Imjad Jaleel said that “diversity routes” were
now being used by the company to ensure that locally hosted web
services could be accessed today, as it aims to prioritise the
provision of web browsing and e-mail services to customers.

“There should be no problems for locally hosted sites right now,”
Jaleel claimed. “We are looking to make use of diversity routes that
will allow us to prioritise important services such as e-mail and
browsing services for our customers even on sites based

Degraded services started occurring on Wednesday evening.  Some business
organisations have expressed concerns that interrupted services were
already having a detrimental impact on local businesses such as those in the
tourism sector that rely on online bookings.

Dhiraagu is one of the country’s largest internet service providers,
dominating the internet and telecommunications sector. Dhiraagu’s main
competitor Wataniya has said it does not currently have any issues with the
provision of its internet services.

Submarine cable

According to Dhiraagu, the problem with its internet service has arisen due
to damage sustained on a section of international submarine cable
located 26 kilometres off the coast of Sri Lanka. The cable is used by
the company to provide broadband services to the country.

Jaleel said the damaged area of cable had been located and a
regionally-based specialised vessel called the Asean Explorer was now
on its way to the affected area to conduct repairs. The vessel is
expected to arrive in the next 24 to 48 hours.

“This has impacted our customers’ access to the internet, it is
estimated that normal services will return in three to four days,”
Jaleel said. “The cable is located 40 metres below the water and this
is the first time that damage like this has taken place on our

Jaleel said the company would not know the exact cause of the damage
to the cable until the Asian Explorer vessel began repairs. However,
he said the damage may been caused by a vessel anchoring in shallow

“We would like to assure customers that we are presently seeking out
diversity routes and that everyone should be able to access locally
hosted web sites,” he said. “The Asian Explorer vessel that is on its
way now is designed specially to deal with repairs like this.”

Speaking to Minivan News today, the Maldives National Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) Vice President Ismail Asif claimed that
it had received several concerns regarding the impact of internet
connectivity issues on local business.

Asif claimed that the chamber had not received information from Dhiraagu as
yet on the issues affecting local internet service, adding that the
organisaton has itself been experiencing problems with its e-mail.

“We are still awaiting information right now from our members on the
scale of the impact, but almost everything we do relies on e-mails,
even letters we receive are scanned rather than faxed these days,” he
said. “Therefore, we expect there to be a huge impact on businesses.”

In terms of specific vulnerabilities to internet connections, the
MNCCI said that many of the country’s tourism related companies
significantly based their operations online.

“We cannot give the number of websites that are down right now
obviously as the internet situation is hindering our own work,” he