Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Internet service to Zimbabwe cut as govt has not paid the bill

Sad, broke Zimbabwe finds itself with little to no access to the Internet today, as Intelsat has almost completely choked off bandwidth due to an unpaid bill by Zimbabwe's govt-owned telecom.

Tel-One, the state-owned communications company, apparently owes Intelsat over $700,000. Given the state of Zimbabwe's economy, along with the recent currency devaluation (which was not a devaluation, according to the Mugabe govt), it's difficult to say where that much spare cash is going to come from.

Mugabe, by the way, blames the UK and other Western powers of conspiring against Zimbabwe. For what, he doesn't say.

Start mailing your checks to UNICEF and Oxfam. Zimbabwe is circling the drain, and it's not going to be pleasant when it goes down.

UPDATE 9/26/2006 11:43 CT: Tel-One has been bailed out by the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank, at least for now. Both the telecom and the bank say they have very low foreign currency reserves, so the reconnection to the Internet may be a temporary thing.

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