Vandalism tarnishing TelOne reputation

By Staff reporter | 15 Nov 2018 at 09:35hrs
TELECOMS operator TelOne says theft and vandalism of its network infrastructure is tarnishing the company's image as this frustrates customers by disrupting efficient service.

Head of corporate communications Mrs Melody Harry told Business Chronicle her organisation has of late become a victim of rampant network vandalism and copper cable thefts. Since January this year she said at least 33 cases have been reported and that these have affected hundreds of clients.

"The biggest loss from vandalism is the impact on the TelOne reputation and the experience of our clients as this may mean prolonged down time for the clients. Through such downtime, our clients also tend to lose business as both voice and broadband is affected," she said.

Mrs Harry said TelOne has stepped up efforts to curb copper cable thefts and network vandalism by installing security alarms on the copper cable infrastructure, which silently triggers response in the event that someone tampers with cables.

The entity has also increased physical security patrols in high risk areas as well as engaging communities to educate them on the consequences of getting involved directly or indirectly in vandalism. The company this week issued a public notice offering a $2 000 reward to members of the public who have information relating to telecommunications equipment thefts or trade.

"Earn quick and easy money by helping TelOne in the fight against theft and vandalism of telecommunications assets such as copper cables. TelOne is offering a reward of up to $2 000 to anyone with information on such acts," said TelOne. "Send us an anonymous tip and choose how you would like your reward to be paid. The reward is paid instantly provided an arrest or recovery has been made."

TelOne has said it has paid $20 000 in rewards this year and 122 suspected criminals have been arrested. The country's power utility, Zesa has also fallen prey to vandalism and lost transformers worth about $20 million and over 100 copper cable rods.

Recently a number of suburbs in Bulawayo were plunged into darkness due to the increased vandalism and theft of copper cables, officials confirmed.



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