comscore Tonga hopes to restore internet access by weekend | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Tonga hopes to restore internet access by weekend

WELLINGTON, New Zealand >> Authorities in Tonga are hoping people will be able to visit Facebook and YouTube again by the weekend as experts repair the vital undersea cable that connects the Pacific nation to the rest of the world.

Tonga was plunged into virtual darkness 11 days ago when the fiber-optic cable was severed. Initially the incident wiped out access to the internet almost entirely, and meant people couldn’t even make international phone calls.

Limited access has since been restored through a satellite service, but authorities have blocked most people from using social media sites like Facebook in order to preserve precious bandwidth.

Residents say they’ve had difficulty doing anything from reading emails to processing credit card payments.

Tonga Cable Ltd. says it believes a ship’s anchor cut the cable in multiple places.

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