ARCEP hits Togocom with US$3.7m fine over service outages

ARCEP hits Togocom with US$3.7m fine over service outages

Togolese regulator ARCEP (Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts) has imposed a fine on operator Togocom for “serious breaches of its [service] obligation.”

Around 18 months ago, ARCEP issued a warning to Togocom that it was obliged to maintain continuous mobile services. At a recent hearing on 23rd June 2022, ARCEP deemed the operator to have failed in this duty, dismissing Togocom’s claims that external factors were responsible for the frequent interruptions and outages to its service.

ARCEP ruled that Togocom’s “inability to improve the availability of its services is due to inefficient operational actions and weak investments in network infrastructure over the past two years”, going as far as to accuse the operator of deliberately shutting down its services “‘in some remote parts of the country at specific times of the day with the sole purpose of cutting its operating costs without any concern for consumers.”

Noting that the network shutdowns “could have been avoided since they were not cases of force majeure”, the regulator has ordered Togocom to pay 2% of its certified revenues as a fine – an amount totalling XOF2.3 billion (US$3.7 million). TeleGeography reported that the operator will receive further penalties if it has not resolved the situation within six months.

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