Theft and theft of telecommunications cables increased again in Brazil in 2022. According to Conexis, representative of operators Claro, Oi, TIM, Vivo, Algar and Sercomtel, 4.72 million meters of cable were stolen or stolen, which corresponds to a 14% increase compared to 2021. São Paulo leads the list of states that suffer the most from these crimes.
Nearly 7 million people are denied access to basic communications services such as police, fire and medical emergencies.
To get an idea of the damage, Conexis Brasil Digital estimates that by 2022 the number of stolen cables (threatening and violent) could cover the country in a straight line from Monte Caburaí (RR) north to south. Arroio do Chui (LOL).
Lack of internet access harms the routines of operator customers, especially those working in the home office model. The experience of game producer Bianca Mendes Rati, residing in Curitiba, the capital of Paraná state, where 1.01 million meters of cable was stolen or stolen last year.
“We are afraid that the company [empregadora] Don’t believe anymore ‘This story every time there is no internet, you have to solve this problem’. But sometimes ‘solving this problem’ means moving house or even suddenly moving to a more elite area”.
According to Bianca, robberies in her neighborhood intensified in the last quarter of 2022. [o roubo de cabos] It was from Monday to Wednesday. The company came and fixed it. They stole it again on Friday.”
The story shows all suffer from financial and moral damagesboth telephone and Internet consumers who are deprived of paid service, and operators who repeatedly pay for the repair of cables and equipment.
In addition, the stress caused by the interruption of internet service, leads many consumers to switch telecommunication providers after identifying which operators suffer the most from cable theft in their area.
Countries most affected by theft of telecommunications cables
Despite numbers that mark a decline in cords stolen and stolen in São Paulo in 2022, the state continues to rank first in the national rankings. Check out the Conexis list comparing 2021 and 2022 data:
- São Paulo: 1.03 million meters (4.2% reduction)
- Paraná: 1.01 million meters (66% increase)
- Minas Gerais: 626,200 meters (119% increase)
- Espírito Santo: 312,300 meters (155.5% increase)
Despite the alarming figures, the telecom industry’s approach to public authorities in the fight against theft, theft and vandalism in the cable network yielded positive results, especially in Rio de Janeiro.
The state of Rio de Janeiro has been noted for its decline in such crimes since 2020, when it ranked second in the national rankings. In 2021, 504.1 thousand meters of telecom cable was stolen or stolen, and in 2022 280.4 thousand meters – It represents a 44.3% reduction.
The sale of copper is one of the reasons for theft.
Telecommunication cables are made of copper, a material that has a high market value and can be easily sold in recycling and scrapping companies.
In addition to unfair profits from the sale of copper, theft and theft of cables and equipment are also raw material for confidential internet and telephony providers settle in areas dominated by organized crime.
Anti-theft and cable theft actions
The telecommunications industry is coordinating various actions with the Judiciary, Legislative and Executive areas to reduce the annual losses caused by the smuggling of telecom cable, which amounts to billions of reals in the country.
It needs to be implemented as soon as possible, according to Daniela Martins, Director of Corporate and Government Relations and Communications at Conexis. Public policies to combat theft, robbery and seizure of cables and equipmentsuch as “immediate approval of PL 5846/16, which symbolizes and increases the punishment for these crimes that cause such harm to citizens.”
The bill that Martins mentioned is waiting for a vote in the House of Representatives plenary to be discussed in the Senate and finally approved by the Presidency.
Other fronts the industry advocates:
- Penalizing companies that buy stolen materials;
- Change the rule that penalizes operators when service disruption occurs due to crime.
Ordinary citizens can also help fight cable theft. Call the Military Police on 190 to report such crimes. or to the person provided by your telecommunications operator.
Source: Tec Mundo
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