Afghan communication infrastructure targeted; antenna worth a million dollars destroyed

Afghanistan’s communication infrastructure has been a target as the fighting intensified between the Taliban and the government forces

Jun 15, 2021
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Afghan communication infrastructure

Afghanistan’s communication infrastructure has been a target as the fighting intensified between the Taliban and the government forces. In the last three months, over 28 telecommunication antennas, worth over a million dollars, have been destroyed.

Telecommunication companies operating the country have written a joint letter to the Afghan government calling for protection of their infrastructure.

According to figures provided by Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA), 301 telecommunication antennas worth $1 million were destroyed in the country last year.  28 telecommunication antennas, mostly in insecure parts of the country, have been destroyed in the last three months. At least 23 others were partly damaged. 
 
“The ATRA authority, in its tenth project, intends to install 400 telecommunication antennas in some remote and insecure areas in the country; these antennas would be handed over to the telecommunication companies,” Saeed Shinwari, a spokesman for ATRA, was quoted as saying by TOLOnews.

Destruction of these infrastructures isn’t just cost telecom companies but also impacts the state’s capabilities. Lawmakers in the country have raised concerns over the problem.  

Farida Ahmadi, a member of parliament, said “If those officials who are working at the Ministry of Communications do not take serious measures in this regard, it will create a worse situation and more antennas will be destroyed.”

With $3 billion in investment, telecommunication is one of the most important sectors in the country. But the lack of security and the extortion of telecom companies by local strongmen have limited telecom and internet services in many provinces across the country.

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