After 5 weeks of volcano disaster, Tonga has internet again

Deepak Gupta February 23, 2022
Updated 2022/02/23 at 3:33 AM

Are you able to go a day without internet? And five weeks? For that was the total time that the population of tongaa small island country in the pacific, was left without access to the network after the eruption of volcano hunga tonga. The country was using satellite internet to a limited extent, but since the repair was completed, access in the country has skyrocketed.

Country phone company confirmed submarine cable repairs

Digicel Tonga, the country’s telephone company, confirmed on its official website the repair of the only submarine cable that connects the country to the internet. According to the company, the cable suffered failures for a length of 80 km (the cable measures 830 km) and the ship and submarine responsible for the repair spent more than two weeks carrying out the task. Anthony Seuseu, CEO of Digicel, also acknowledged that the eruption of Hunga Tonga taught that it is necessary to increase investment and improve the country’s connection, preparing for future natural disasters. Repairs to shore internet cables will take six to nine months.

Cloudfare published a graph showing the increase in internet access in Tonga after the return of cable connectivity in the country.

Forecast was to be without internet for up to four weeks

The submarine cable, measuring 830 km, is connected to the tonga along a route that passes through fiji, another country formed by an archipelago. the connection with fiji is the only source of Internet of the country, but according to the Reutersthe cable was broken in the very strong eruption of the volcano Hunga Tonga. to fix the submarine cablethe repair ship needed to leave Papua New Guinea and takes a few days to arrive in tonga. After that, the repair team depended on the condition of the volcano to work. After all, you don’t want to risk diving in close proximity to an underwater eruption. This was the part where no one can do anything but the tiresome “sit and wait”.

About the eruption of Hunga Tonga

On January 14th, the volcano Hungary Tonga erupted, causing great damage to the islands of Tonga, a country formed an archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean (the irony of life). In addition to the tsunami caused by the volcano, which flooded several islands in the country, caused five deaths (two in Peru) and left the territory covered in ash, the damage affected the only submarine cable that connects Tonga to the internet, leaving the country incommunicado, without not even information from government authorities. The connection, so far, has been restored via satellite internet. It has not been confirmed whether SpaceX finished the works to make its connection operational in the country.

In addition to volcano and tsunami, rescue teams sent to the country caused an outbreak of COVID-19. Tonga had only registered its first case in October 2021.


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Source: Gizmodo

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