Ethio Telecom sorry for internet blackout

Ethio Telecom sorry for internet blackout

Ethiopia’s state-run monopoly telecoms provider has apologised for the internet shutdown that lasted for more than a week.

A statement issued on Tuesday evening was the first official recognition that there had been a break in service.

“It is known that the internet service was interrupted intermittently throughout the country since 10 June,” Ethio Telecom said.

“We sincerely extend our apologies to our customers for the inconvenience.”

However, no explanation was given for the shutdown. Last week, Ethio Telecom told BBC Amharic that it did not have a mandate to talk about the reasons behind the outage.

It is widely believed that the internet was blocked to prevent exam cheating as the shutdown coincided with the nationwide school exam season.

The last exam was on Tuesday and online access has now resumed.

The blackout affected many parts of the country. The service came back in the capital, Addis Ababa, on Friday afternoon but was down in much of the rest of Ethiopia.

It returned sporadically over the week, but not for long periods of time.

On Tuesday, a group of lawyers said they were going to sue Ethio Telecom for acting unconstitutionally by denying people the right to access information.

Ethio Telecom said customers would not be charged for the week they spent without online access.

BBC

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