Full Resumption of Services in Tigray May Take Time, Says Ethio Telecom

  • Releases CCTV footage showing armed officers disrupting services in its Mekelle Office

ADDIS ABEBA – CEO of Ethio Telecom, Frehiwot Tamru, said on Thursday full restoration of telecom services in Tigray Region could take time due to the gravity of the damage on the ground.

Telecom services have been interrupted in the region hours since the early hours of Nov. 4, 2020.

The operator said it is working hard to restore telecom services in all areas of the region, but restoring full services in the region may take time.

According to the CEO, commercial power outage, Transmission outage such as OPGW and Terrestrial Fiber Optics), staff reachability and other basic facilities required for the service remain the major challenges to resume services.

“We are working with the various actors including the new administration and the federal government to address the challenges and resume services,” Frehiwot told reporters on Thursday.

The ongoing restoration effort involves Ethiopian Electric Utility, security apparatus and transitional administration of the region.

So far, the CEO said, Ethio Telecom has managed to resume telecom services in Dansha, Humera, Maykadra, Turkan, Maytseberi and Korem partially while the service has been fully recovered in Alamata.

A lot to work on

According to Ethio Telecom, the service outage in the regional capital may continue for longer period due to the nature of the problem occurred at the company’s Core office in the city.

Frehiwot said works are under way to reconnect Mekelle, where telecom services have been disrupted since November 4 – a day the fighting between regional and federal forces started.

“We have substantial information and evidence that external entities, other than Ethio telecom security staffs, accessed our premises and caused service outage in the North Region,” the company said.

On Thursday, the company released a CCTV footage showing unknown armed people forcing out the company’s security personnel, getting into the core office and then tempering with the company’s apparatuses.

“We have provided information and evidence from CCTV in the core sites and our systems to Federal Police for investigation,” the CEO said, adding that they will look into who and how the outage happened.

The attack did not stop at the core office, though.

Frehiwot said the cyber-attack has been attempted on multiple government organizations including government offices, finance and educational institutes, ethio telecom systems and infrastructures and media.

A total of 39.8 billion attacks were attempted within 14 days since the law and order operation started in Tigray, according to the CEO.

By Mhret G/kristos

Featured Image: Ethio Telecom CEO Frehiwot Tamru [Photo File]

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