In what is being described as a major setback for both the Metropolitan Trading Company (MTC) and the community of Eldorado Park, planned network maintenance in the area has been marred by the discovery of vandalised and burned fibre optic cables.
“The entity has launched an investigation into the incident, and we are working closely with local law enforcement authorities to identify the culprits behind this malicious act,” says MTC Network Operation Centre Supervisor, Nkosana Mzalwane.
The MTC, a broadband network entity of the City of Johannesburg that offers both wholesale data services to public and private entities as well as retail and incidental services on behalf of the municipality, was conducting a planned fibre network maintenance in Eldorado Park following the installation of new fibre cables.
However, what the technicians discovered was disheartening, says Mzalwane, adding that newly installed cables were found intentionally vandalised, with several of them burned and damaged beyond repair inside a maintenance hole.
“The vandalism and burning of the fibre cables not only pose a significant setback for MTC but also disrupt the internet and communication services for the local community. It causes a major inconvenience to residents and businesses that rely on the fibre network for their day-to-day operations,” he explains.
Mzalwane says the MTC is concerned and frustrated by the incident. He urges the local community to protect critical telecommunications infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted services.
Vandalism of fibre cables is a serious offence and can have severe consequences, including legal action against perpetrators.
“It not only disrupts the services provided by telecommunications companies but also affects the general public, businesses, and the overall economic growth of the region.”
He says the MTC will repair and replace the vandalised cables as quickly as possible to restore broadband network services to normal.
The entity is also implementing additional security measures to protect its infrastructure and prevent such incidents from reoccurring.
“MTC urges the local community to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities or damage to broadband infrastructure to the authorities to ensure the security and reliability of the fibre network,” he says.
Mzalwane notes that the vandalism incident highlights the need for increased awareness and protection of critical broadband infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted telecommunication services and prevent disruptions caused by malicious acts.