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Forex shortages impacts TelOne network restoration

Forex shortages impacts TelOne network restoration

A shortage of foreign currency in Zimbabwe has delayed the reconnection of services to approximately 3000 fixed landline and internet users after TelOne network equipment was damaged through vandalism.

The cost of the damage is estimated at US$10 000.

"The stolen cables affect both voice and broadband," said company spokesperson Melody Harry.

Replacement of the infrastructure is expected to be delayed because some equipment has to be imported, which has further implications because of the shortage of foreign currency.

Zimbabwe's foreign currency woes have worsened in recent months, with foreign shareholders in companies failing to remit their dividends from the country.

The central bank uses a strict priority list to process foreign bound payments for companies and TelOne will be hoping that its request to pay for replacement of the lost equipment will be classified as top priority.

The company is keen to build on its broadband internet infrastructure in light of declining income from fixed voice services.

It received a government licence for broadcasting services in the country, joining Econet and state-owned publishing house, Zimpapers which have also both been licenced as broadcasters.

According to TelOne, there is an increase in theft of network and cabling equipment in Zimbabwe, with approximately 39 arrests and 16 convictions recorded so far this year.