Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 21 Jul 2018 12am







    Sunday, July 22, 2018-12:21:00A.M.






Font Size


IT&E terrestrial cable damaged, repaired

A TERRESTRIAL fiber cable was damaged due to excavation by a third party at the entrance of the IT&E corporate offices at Harmon Industrial Park on Guam at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Thursday.

IT&E said, “A number of cables were damaged resulting in loss of cellular, data and internet services in the CNMI and cellular data and some enterprise services in Guam.”

According to IT&E, after repairing the damaged cables, initial restoration of services began at 6:20 a.m. with full restoration expected at 8:30 a.m. “However, because of the number of cables that were damaged, some services which were restored required additional maintenance, resulting in intermittent service disruptions for customers in the CNMI and Guam until 1 p.m. when services were restored and stabilized.”

IT&E chief executive officer Jim Oehlerking said “the CNMI access out of the region travels through Guam. Although redundant paths exist between the CNMI and Guam, at our facility, all circuits were cut at the building entry point. In the future, a completely separate building entry point will be utilized, eliminating the risk of a single point of failure.”

On Saipan, the disruption of internet connection lasted for more than six hours, affecting businesses and government offices.

Press Secretary Kevin Bautista said the incident again showed the importance of bringing in a second fiber optic cable to the islands.

“The administration’s drive for competition in the telecommunications infrastructure of our islands is aimed toward safeguarding the critical day-to-day services and activities that require access to the internet or a phone line for every resident here,” he said. “While this incident is not IT&E’s fault, accidents happen, and it is crucial that the government does what it can to ensure that people’s lives are not challenged by that eventuality.”

He said the administration’s move “to bring in another fiber optic cable with redundancy was made to ensure the overall telecommunication infrastructure is competitive, while being much more resilient for everyone’s benefit.”

In July 2015, IT&E’s network outage caused by a damaged under-sea fiber optic cable disconnected Saipan from the rest of the world for several days.