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MTN to sue contractors for fibre optic cuts

Management of Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) has hinted of a legal suit against private developers and road contractors who persistently cause damage to their fibre optic cables.

This, according to the company, has become necessary after several engagements with the Association of Road Contractors, the Ghana Highway Authority, the Urban Roads Department and others to find an amicable way of addressing the situation, proved futile.

Mr. Samuel Bartels, the Regulatory Manager of MTN who sounded the caution, indicated that the issue of fibre cuts has significantly worsened even in the face of the sensitisation and public education by the company.

The company spent  GHC 2 million to repair fibre cuts while GHC 4.4 million was also spent on relocation of fibre optic cables between January and March this year.

Mr. Bartels was addressing the Central region edition of Editors and Senior Media Practitioners’ Forum organised by the company on Thursday in Cape Coast, aimed at strengthening the company’s relationship with the media.

He said the recurrent fibre cuts which were mostly caused by road construction and private developer activities, created huge cost to the company and also undermined its ability to provide quality services to its customers.

According to him, 56 percent of fibre cuts were caused by road construction and government agencies such as the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Ghana High Authority and the  Urban Roads Department, while 35 per cent was by private developers.

He added that in the Ashanti, Western and Central Regions, there was 50 per cent increase in fibre cuts due to road construction and private developer activities in the first quarter of 2019.

Mr. Bartels appealed to road constructors to be vigilant when working to avoid destruction of the company’s underground cables which were laid in accordance with the approved standard for  distance and depth from the road.

He said MTN would continue to dialogue with stakeholders such as road contractors, Ghana Highway Authority, Department of Feeder Roads, and Urban Roads to share with them their fibre optic cables map so as to reduce fibre cuts during road construction.

For his part, Mr. Samuel Koranteng, Corporate Services Executive of MTN, indicated that the company was investing $160 million in network expansion including the rolling out of its 4G+ services to ensure high data capacity and speed.

This, he explained fell in line with the company’s aim of leading the delivery of a bold new digital world.

Mr. Koranteng said MTN paid a total of GH¢1.48 billion in taxes, out of which, GH¢1.3 billion went to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

He said GH¢184 million was also paid to the National Communications Authority and Ghana Investments Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC), the regulators.

Touching on Mobile Money, he said 13 million customers have so far been registered on the MTN mobile money in10 years of its introduction.

He also said GHC139 million has been paid as interest to more than eight million Mobile Money customers over the same period.

Mr. Koranteng said MTN Foundation had also spent GHC13 million in executing a total of 147 projects in the areas of education, health and economic empowerment in its 12 years of existence.

Source: GNA

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