Sierra Leone denies internet shutdown during election
6 April 2018
The National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) of Sierra Leone has dismissed reports that it ordered the shutting down of internet connectivity for election day on 31 March, APA News reported. NATCOM said that according to its own information sources, the issues were due to a problems with international fibre optic cable from which Sierra Leone sources most of its internet signal.
Internet connection went off shortly after counting began, and the blackout lasted for about twelve hours. NATCOM, which is the government agency that regulates the telecoms sector, was accused of ordering the shutdown.
The telecom industry regulator denied having blocked or terminated internet access countrywide and emphasised that connectivity is provided to the country via the Sierra Leone Cable Company (SALCAB) which manages the country's connection to the Africa Coast to Europe submarine cable. NATCOM has released a statement explaining that it neither provides ICT services nor operates a network.