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Home / Business / The operator of Tonga's internet cable cannot exclude sabotage | Tonga News

The operator of Tonga's internet cable cannot exclude sabotage | Tonga News



A director of the operator of Tonga's underwater internet cable has said he cannot rule out sabotage as the reason the cable broke and pushed the Pacific into virtual darkness for almost two weeks.

Repair crews found two breaks along the vital fiber optic cable connecting Tonga with the rest of the world, said Piveni Piukala, a leader of Tonga Cable Ltd., on Monday.

Several kilometers away, they found two more breaks and ropes attached to the separate cable connecting the main island with some of Tonga's outer islands.

Piukala said the crew members of a specialized repair vessel found the rope attached to the cable for about 1

00 meters and the cable was twisted and damaged along that length. He said the sea conditions and the weather had been typical when the damage occurred.

Last week, Piukala said he thought a large ship had caused the damage by dragging an anchor along the seabed.

On Monday, he said it is still a work theory, though he finds it difficult to imagine that a ship could have used such power on the cables and caused damage over such large distances without intentionally doing so.

He said it was "beyond some imagination" to wonder why some might want to sabotage the cables and that the government is planning to investigate thoroughly.

About 90 percent of the population of Tonga had full internet access restored Saturday after the crews had finished repairing the international cable.

Piukala said they hope to complete domestic cable repairs on Tuesday.

In the beginning, the cable problems on January 20 almost completely removed and meant that people could not even make international phone calls.

Restricted access was restored via satellite, but authorities blocked most from using social media such as Facebook to preserve precious bandwidth for repairs to the international cable was completed.


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