Police rule out arson at Abha STC facility

The police have ruled out arson at a Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) facility in Khamis Al-Mushayt, where a fire on Sunday disrupted services in large parts of the Asir region.

“The investigation department did not find any evidence to support the suggestion that some customers had started the fire to take revenge for issues related to STC billing or poor services,” said Col. Abdullah Zafran, acting spokesman of the Asir police, in a media statement.

However, Col. Muhammed Al-Asemi, spokesman of the Civil Defense in Asir, said a technical committee comprising Civil Defense and STC officials investigating the incident did not pinpoint the actual cause of the fire, according to reports.

Meanwhile, STC has apologized to its customers for the disruption of the mobile and landline services because of the fire. It would resume services soon, it said.

Amjad Shakir, the director of STC’s media affairs department, said that the company was trying to determine the cause of the fire and that it has set out a schedule for the full restoration of services.

“At the same time, the company has begun providing a temporary mobile device to help speed up the restoration of services, at least partially, to affected areas,” he said.
About 80 percent of landline services had been cut in Abha, Khamis Mushayt, Tareeb, Alamadh, Alsbejh and Tatleet. Most of the residents in these areas have now turned to Mobily and Zain networks.

Abdul Rahman Aal Moraea, a citizen, claimed that there have been many similar disruptions of STC’s communication networks recently, forcing many of its clients to turn to other providers.

He said that STC did not seem to have contingency plans in place to deal with such emergencies. He also asked if STC would compensate businesses for the losses caused by this disruption. He accused the company of not releasing information about the situation, and how it planned to fix the problem.

Talhan Al-Waqayan, a citizen from the province of Tatleet, said villages in Tareeb and Tatleet had experienced a complete disruption of mobile, landline and Internet services for all STC subscribers. Many had been forced to buy Mobily cards for SR150 each.





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