A technical failure at the underwater SAT3 at the high sea fiber optic terminal, about forty kilometers from Douala" is believed to be the cause of the problem, according to an official source in the Cameroon's economic capital.
Internet cafe operators and users have been hard hit by the development. "We are experiencing more financial problems as we have suffered huge losses. We have to pay for the usual charges while we have not been earning anything for nearly a week," Alan Nyamsi, manager of a café in Douala complained.
"We have not been able to work for nearly a week. Without Internet, phone call or fax abroad, we have no services to offer to customers. We have no alternative but to close," said a young lady employed in a café in the city. Nearly all the Internet cafés in Douala have closed temporarily, pending the return of the Internet provision. "We are laid off as everything is empty here.
The connection is lost and we are still waiting for its recovery. We are losing between FCFA35,000 and FCFA40,000 daily," said Maxime Abdel, a café manager. Business people, On-line newspapers and money transfer companies are also suffering from the lack of Internet access in Cameroon. "We can no longer control and monitor our activities outside (our) offices," Flaubert Ngankou, head of operations in a company in Douala, with agencies across the country, said. Also, On-line newspapers are not updated and the daily newspapers are largely cut off from their correspondents across the country.
Officials of the Cameroon Telecommunications (CAMTEL) said efforts were being made to solve the problem. "We are aware of the disruptions caused by the non availability of some services offered by telecommunication operators in Cameroon.
That's the reason why technical teams have been sent to the scene of the failure to move Cameroon back on the web," said Benjamin Gérard Assouzo'o of CAMTEL. But sources said in spite of the assurance, Internet access might not be restored in the country until the second half of November. Cameroon has Internet access through the SAT3 underwater link among several countries including Nigeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar and South Africa, among others.
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