DUE TO HIGH SEAS AND STORMS: Arrival of repair ship pushed to Thursday


The arrival of the ship that will fix IT&E’s damaged undersea fiber optic cable between Tinian and Saipan has been pushed back a day—from Wednesday to Thursday—due to high seas and storms, the telecommunications firm said yesterday.

The new date for the repair ship’s arrival is this July 23.

It was originally scheduled to arrive Wednesday, July 22, after departing Taiwan at 10pm last Thursday.

When it does arrive, IT&E is expected to load the vessel with equipment and begin right away on the repair process.

IT&E has said their repair ship is a specialized vessel using jets instead of propellers to hold it in place as it inspects the fiber optic line and does repairs.

Depending on the initial investigation, identifying the “break” location, and the type of break, IT&E expects a potential 48-hour repair timeline.

Damage to the fiber optic line was not found last week by divers IT&E had hired to inspect the line. Dives ceased on Wednesday.

Because of this, damage to the line is said to be much deeper than what can be inspected from a surface dive.

‘Split line’

While responding to user complaints about “slow speeds experience,” IT&E said they found that some residential and commercial users—with only single DSL connections—have actually been “splitting” their line and connecting more than the recommended number of users per DSL line.

“Such practice is not allowed and is detrimental to the overall experience of all users, with or without the undersea cable issue,” IT&E said in a statement yesterday.

On Friday, IT&E announced that the CNMI’s 4G network had been restored under limited capacity. This continued yesterday.

IT&E continues to advise the public to maximize their Internet experience by connecting directly to their router but limit users to one at a time; turn off streaming and gaming; log off and disconnect completely when finished using the Internet; and use Internet only for information and basic communication.

Almost two weeks ago, damage to IT&E’s fiber optic line caused a massive network communications outage in the CNMI.​

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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