Poor Internet services making Online booking tedious

GSM mast
GSM mast

Ongoing Internet hitches being experienced in the country is making it difficult for prospective travellers to book their trips online, checks by our correspondent revealed on Wednesday.

The Internet service disruptions were said to have been caused by damage to the West African Cable System, a submarine cable network serving Nigeria and some West African countries.

Subscribers of some telecommunications networks have been experiencing difficulties browsing the Internet since the incident occurred last week.

Financial institutions, including commercial banks, were also affected by the problem.

Subscribers on the MTN network were reportedly the most affected by the problem but the telecommunications company said it had since resolved the issue.

But checks by our correspondent on Wednesday indicated that subscribers were still experiencing difficulties with the Internet.

Apart from MTN, there are indications that subscribers of other telecommunications networks are also grappling with slow Internet connections.

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Some subscribers of other networks, who spoke with our correspondent on Wednesday, said the Internet service disruptions had not abated.

The development, it was learnt, had made it particularly difficult for those trying to make online transactions, including those hoping to book trips ahead of the travel dates.

During a visit to the Utako area of Abuja, where most of the major mass transit companies have their offices, our correspondent observed that the place was unusually crowded by people who were forced to do across the counter booking and payment having reportedly made several failed attempts to complete the transactions online.

Mass transit companies such as ABC, God is Good, the Young Shall Grow and Chisco have their offices in Utako.

A lady, who gave her name as Chinwe, told our correspondent at the office of one of the transport companies that she wanted to travel on Wednesday, but could not do so because she was not able to book the trip online on Tuesday.

“I had to come all the way from my house with my baby to book the trip against tomorrow (Thursday) because I could not do so online yesterday (Tuesday).

“The Internet was so slow and even when I was able to get to the website the transaction could not go through. It’s frustrating,” she said.

Many other travellers who spoke with our correspondent shared similar experiences.

Officials of some of the mass transit companies, who spoke with our correspondent, said they had experienced a drop in online bookings in the past few days.

“In a normal situation, you will not see many people coming around to the office to book for their trips over the counter; they usually do that online.

“But we have been having a lot of people coming to do so since last week,” a customer service officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

An official of one of the Internet service providers explained that the telecommunications operators were the most affected by the problem.

“It is the telcos that we buy bandwidth from that are directly affected by the cut. The ISPs are not directly affected,” the official said.

The WACS, a high capacity fibre optic submarine cable which links Europe, West Africa and South Africa, connects 14 countries in two continents.

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