Vodafone Ghana experienced large-scale disruptions due to cable theft in the Madina and Adenta areas on Thursday (January 24), with 450 subscribers being affected.
The cable theft compromised Internet services for business subscribers and the wider community. One kilometre worth of cable that lay between the Adenta Trontro Station and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) junction was stolen.
The costs are estimated at GH¢200,000 (US$105,000) and it will take approximately three weeks for repairs to be made.
“Since August 2012, over 15,500 fixed broadband customers have been left without internet service as a result of 186 cable theft incidents all over the country. Vodafone experienced the highest number of cable thefts in a single month in December when it reported 47 cable thefts in the areas of Korle Bu, Madina, Accra High Street, Cantonments, Kasoa, East Legon and Tema,” Vodafone Ghana told the Ghana News Agency.
As a result of previous cable theft incidents, government agencies, schools and banks were among the subscribers left without voice and Internet services for days and in some cases weeks. According to Vodafone Ghana, 25 percent of fixed broadband faults are caused by cable theft.
Vodafone’s high rate of cable theft has resulted in the company losing a total of GH¢5 million (US$2.6 million) due to the restoration costs.
Vodafone Ghana said it is working together with stakeholders for the initiation of a campaign to combat cable theft. The stakeholders include security agencies.
“We have intensified our campaign to catch those responsible for cable theft, who cause disruption not just to our customers, but to the local community. It is unacceptable that nearly 25 percent of our fixed broadband faults reported are as a result of the theft of our cables,” said Nana Yaa Ofori-Atta, Head of External Affairs.
She added: “We are working with the police at the highest level to make sure that we have the right resources to fight this. We believe this is a form of organised crime and we will leave no stone unturned to bring the culprits to justice.”
Furthermore, Ofori-Atta called on the members of the public to join the fight against cable theft. She said: “We need members of the public to be vigilant because the impact of the theft is indiscriminate, it could affect your local police station or hospital. We’ve had great cooperation from members of the public in the past and we need that to continue is we are going to win this fight.”
Four members of the public were rewarded in the fourth quarter of 2012 for disclosing information leading to the arrest and prosecution of criminals responsible for the cable theft in the Mile 7 and Tema areas.