Major technical failure hits Ghana Telecom’s broadband service – no apologies to customers


Ghana Telecom’s much heralded broadband service collapsed unceremoniously on Monday 12 November due to a major technical failure. According to a member of their technical team, who preferred not to be named, the network breakdown was due to the installation of new billing software which failed to work when the data from the existing system was transferred to it. “We are trying to contact the software vendor because the IP address of each account on the original system did not migrate correctly to the new system,” said a clearly harassed technician.

The company, which has not made any formal announcement to its fast growing network of increasingly disenchanted customers, is continuing to accept new applications for Internet service from an unknowing public. Say’s database administrator, James Quarshie, “Broadband4U has been experiencing intermittent breaks in connectivity and poor bandwidth management leading to a steady deterioration in service since we started subscribing a year ago. This means we frequently have to fall back on the dial-up service which means paying the service provider twice over to get connected.”

Ghana Telecom announced its intention to unilaterally change its billing system to a new, pre-paid scheme through a series of recent newspaper advertisements. Ironically it was this very changeover to new billing software which has brought about its downfall. And while most corporate businesses on the scale of Ghana Telecom have a disaster management plan, there does not appear to be any sense of urgency about getting the network back into shape again. It appears that GT executives and technical staff are unlikely to allow the disruption to affect their day-to-day routine or leisure activities.

No reference is made to the situation on GT’s website, no advertisements of apology or concern have been made in the press or on radio, no signs posted-up in the now rather jokingly named Care4U Centres and those who dial 100 for advice are politely requested to switch off their computer and modem and switch them back on in reverse order!

Ghana Telecom apparently has no plans for its staff to work extra hours to rectify the problem. Say’s Quarshie, “We had to put a lot of pressure on our local Care4U Centre to get an engineer to reconfigure our computers to the network. When he finally arrived at 5.45pm on Friday night, he couldn’t complete the job because his office had closed and everyone had gone home. So he went away again.”

Ghana Telecom is preparing to sell off a share of its business to a strategic partner. “It may be harsh to suggest that executive management is far too busy working out its severance packages in anticipation of the impending deal, but until Ghana Telecom come out and tell us what they plan to do about the situation, people are bound to speculate.” says Quarshie.