STC restores services in EP
The Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) announced Friday that it has restored all mobile, landline and data services in the Eastern Province.
Services were disrupted for three hours on Thursday after a technician and a contractor both cut the optical fiber cable of the company. The company said that the mistake affected 200,000 customers in the Eastern Province. Jubail has a population of over 180,000.
In a statement, STC said it had taken every effort to restore services after the cable was cut. Maintenance teams were able to fix the problem in record time, it said.
The disruption paralyzed the entire province at land entry points, banks and some government departments.
Abdulghafour Al-Sheikh, a technical and economic expert, said: “The company is supposed to have more than one option available for Internet and mobile services in the province, not only a single feeder cable, in case something like this happens. The other cables or a satellite connection would provide backup for the single cable and prevent any service interruptions.”
“What happened paralyzed the activities of companies and institutions that depend on STC’s Internet services to communicate with their branches including banks and external suppliers. This led to financial losses.”
Al-Sheikh said most of the losses took place on the stock market because traders had to freeze all buy and sell orders of shareholders. He said 90 percent of traders depend on the Internet to send out their orders.
In addition, many companies running point of sale systems that depend on the Internet were completely shut down.
Citizens were not able to withdraw or deposit money at the banks because these institutions rely on a single Internet provider. Many companies were now looking at ways to develop their own infrastructure, he said.
The STC said Thursday that it would restore services to large parts of the Asir region early next week. All services were disrupted after a fire broke out at a facility in Khamis Mushayt on Sunday.
The company would complete repairs at its facility by the end of next week.
The police on Wednesday ruled out arson at the STC facility in Khamis Mushayt in the wake of rumors that some customers had started the fire to take revenge over STC billing and poor services.
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 had turned to Mobily and Zain networks.