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Stormy weather hits networking infrastructure

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Telecommunications infrastructure has come under pressure from severe weather, particularly in Gautang and the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) coastal regions.

Openserve has reported a significant increase in network-related faults.

Services in Gauteng have been hit hard particularly in the West Rand. This is because Gauteng has a high water table which has led to flooding of Telkom’s underground infrastructure. The flooding has restricted workmen from accessing the fault zone and will cause delays in repair times.

The extent of the damage to Openserve infrastructure in KZN which spans buildings, indoor and outdoor core and access network infrastructure is substantial and the net impact is still being assessed.

In both provinces, overhead cables have also been affected with trees becoming waterlogged resulting in branches breaking or falling onto overhead cables with resultant damage. Lightning has also caused damage to the cable network and customer premise equipment.

“Openserve is proactively monitoring all critical sites to minimise service interruptions and is doing its utmost to restore services in affected areas as soon as possible. To assist, additional resources are being mobilised from other areas of the business,” says Lucas Ndala, Openserve’s chief of operations.

“The company understands the great inconvenience disconnection of its services brings to its clients and their customers and will be on extra high alert during this period, mobilising all available technicians to work additional hours if needs be. In the event of power outages key Openserve infrastructure sites are equipped with standby generators that can last up to eight hours,” he said.

Ndala advises residents and businesses that run on Openserve’s network to report faults via their respective service providers.

Meanwhile, MTN has been battling with power outages in Gauteng thaaat have affected its infrastructure.

“MTN South Africa is working diligently to restore services to those affected customers affected by this ferocious storm. We have activated our business continuity plan to ensure that services are maintained at the levels consumers and business customers expect,” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, executive: corporate affairs at MTN SA.

“The Yaldwyn Power Station that caught fire in Jetpark, in the east of Johannesburg, has also resulted in extensive power outages. Most of our transmission network and radio networks are equipped with battery back-up and in some cases mobile generators. However, these are short-term solutions, so we are doing all we can to support the necessary power supply repairs that will get our services back up and running for our customers.”