Telecom Namibia suffered yet another loss when thieves stole 32 poles of the Erongo Region fibre ring network that transmits data from Windhoek to the coastal towns and vice versa, as well as to and from other countries.
It is not yet clear when exactly the poles were stolen, but the theft was uncovered on Monday last week. Telecom’s head of corporate communications, Oiva Angula, said in a statement that a chainsaw was used to cut the poles from Telecom’s overhead fibre route between Arandis and Karibib.
Fortunately no Internet or voice services were affected by the theft, but he noted that this is the second time in five months that poles are being targeted for theft in the Erongo Region.
He added that this type of theft remains a major source of concern as the attacks can cause communication service outages and affect the business community, which relies heavily on operative telecommunication networks.
The Erongo fibre optic backbone route links Swakopmund, Henties Bay, Uis, Omatjete, Khorixas, Kamanjab, Outjo, Omaruru, Karibib, Arandis, Usakos and Walvis Bay. Apart from transmitting domestic data within the country, this specific route is also used to transmit Internet data to neighbouring countries and further afield.
A police report has since been filed and Telecom has put out a request to anyone with information about the incident to contact the police in the Erongo Region.
Telecom Namibia is offering a cash reward of up to N$20 000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons responsible for theft and vandalism of the network.