Severed fibre cable cuts off Internet in Tonga

25 Jan 2019

The South Pacific island nation of Tongo lost access to the Internet as the undersea fibre cable that serves its citizens was severed possibly by a ship anchor. The outage left citizens unable to accesssocial media, air travel bookings, educational and banking transactions. An interim Internet connection has been established through a satellite dish. The repair of the fibre optic cable is expected to take at least one week.

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The telecommunications infrastructure is a physical medium through which all Internet traffic flows.

Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).


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