New Fines of up to $300k for Damage to Telecom Fibre Lines

New Fines of up to $300k for Damage to Telecom Fibre Lines

Individuals or entities who damage Telecom Fiji’s fibre lines will now face penalties of up to $300 thousand, Fiji’s leading ICT provider has warned.

This comes after a number of individuals and companies have repeatedly damaged Telecom’s expensive fibre infrastructure while engaging in construction work along major highways and main roads.

“We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the rollout of Fibre technology throughout Fiji so that Fijians can enjoy faster and better services. It is unfortunate that despite us stressing the need to dial 159 before they dig, damage to essential telecommunications infrastructure still continues,” said Telecom CEO, Charles Goundar.

Fibre lines are a very delicate and expensive technology and any damage is expensive to repair and requires high precision splicing and testing machines, apart from highly skilled technical staff.

Such damage also disrupts services to customers and in some instances, it also affects services such as aircraft surveillance, backhaul service for mobile operations, connectivity to the international cable landing station and other critical services.

Furthermore, once a fibre line is damaged, even with the best joining technique, it can never be restored to its original quality, and will always have signal losses at that point, meaning that the damage done is permanent.

Telecom has, till date, fined numerous perpetrators for multiple cases of damage to their fibre lines.

“Since damage to a single point in any of our fibre line permanently affects the long term life and quality of that line, we will now charge for an entire 5km section of Fibre in order to minimise the number of joints, especially in our core transmission routes which handles very high bandwidth capacity. This will ensure that the quality of the lines is restored to their original state,” CEO Goundar said.

“I would like to stress to anyone engaging in trenching works along highways to dial 159 and seek our assistance before you dig. Our line is toll-free and works on all service providers.”