Internet Operators Lament Lack of Access in Gambia


Internet Café operators and users have been complaining recently that they cannot access Internet services. They complained that it sometimes takes them two to three hours before they can access the Internet. Internet operators stated that they are having difficulties with their customers due to difficulties in accessing their email accounts.

Most customers who this reporter spoke to said that they cannot understand the slow process of browsing the Internet. They said they buy time which would be exhausted without accessing their emails. Some customers stated that they would buy two to three hours without accessing their mails which is a loss to them.

The Internet café operators within the Kanifing Municipality pinpointed the same problems they have been having since last week. They said it is very difficult for their clients to understand the delay in accessing the internet. They said they have to explain to their customers that the problem emanates from the main service providers. They said customers often ask them to refund them their monies as they cannot access the Internet. They indicated that they are encountering financial losses due to a drop in the number of customers; that they do refund some customers who insist on getting their monies back because of inaccessibility to the internet.

However, Foroyaa investigated the problem and found out that the Internet cable linking Gamtel and Sonatel, in Senegal has been faulty. According to our sources, The Gambia internet traffic passes through Senegal; that their main supply is the Senegalese telco Sonatel.

Yaya Manneh, of the Gamtel Internet Service unit, confirmed their problems pointing out that it was a cable problem emanating from their underground fibre connection with Senegal, which has been cut. But he was quick to add that they are tirelessly working on the problem. He indicated that, at first, they thought the fibre problem emanated from the Senegalese side but it was later discovered that it was from The Gambian side. He also confirmed that Gambia is not yet connected to World Wide Web due to lack of "Marine Cable," which Senegal have for easy access to the World Wide Web. He noted that their main back bone is Senegal. During his interview with the Foryaa newspaper, Manneh received another call saying the problem had been resolved.

Foroyaa Newspaper