According to Middle Eastern business website Zawya.com, Libyana, Libya’s largest mobile operator in terms of subscribers, has ‘reconnected’ portions of its cellular network which have been out of action for around eight months – since the start of the increasingly violent revolution which culminated with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi being captured and killed by Libyan forces in Sirte. A statement issued by interim government, the National Transitional Council, confirmed: ‘Early on Friday morning Libyana’s telecommunications network was reconnected between eastern and western Libya, after being cut off for almost eight months. This news brought relief to many Libyans, who have been unable to communicate with their loved ones on either side of the country’.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in May Mohamed Ben Ayad, then-president of state-owned Libyana and ISP Libya Telecom & Technology (LTT) alleged that Libya’s telecoms sector had suffered around LYD1.50 billion (USD1.22 billion) worth of damage, as a result of coordinated NATO air-strikes targeting network telecoms infrastructure. Ayad described the methodical targeting of the country’s telecoms infrastructure as a ‘crime against humanity in the broadest sense’, adding that the lack of communications had interfered with the disbursement of medical aid to the wounded, and disrupted fire fighters’ activities and other humanitarian efforts.