IT&E owner Ricky Delgado visited Saipan last Wednesday and spoke to Saipan Tribune about the trials the telcommunications firm faced with fiber optic cable cut and the devastation brought by Typhoon Soudelor.
Delgado, who visited to address and rally IT&E staff and employees, looked to the future and their continued investment on Saipan, ahead of his company’s 10th year since they took over the company. The Delgado family of the Philippines acquired the company in Sept. 20, 2005.
“I know a lot of people have been hurt by the storm, and I just to reassure these guys about the company’s commitment,” Delgado said of his visit.
The telecommunications company was rocked these last two months when damage attributed to harsh weather caused a “cut” in IT&E’s fiber cable between Tinian and Saipan. This drew the frustration of many from a customer level to legislators and administration officials.
Delgado told Saipan Tribune that they regret what happened but pointed to the power crisis left by Typhoon Soudelor as an example of an event “beyond the control of human beings.”
“Obviously it affected everybody, we know that, and we are obviously sorry. We repaired the cable and we had the ship here in two weeks, and at a huge cost,” he said, adding that the company is looking to invest in strengthening their microwave backup system.
When asked point blank why this microwave backup was down before the cut, Delgado pointed to a typhoon two weeks before that got the system “dis-aligned.”
Since the cable cut, which caused a telecommunications crisis in the CNMI, Docomo Pacific—a competitor—has approached the Legislature and Gov. Eloy S. Inos with plans to run their own fiber cable in the CNMI.
Delgado, when asked, said he welcomed this venture.
“In the end, every telecomm company has capital expenditure decisions to make,” he said. “If they believe that’s an investment they want to make then there’s nothing I can do, or will do to stop them.”
Delgado believes Typhoon Soudelor unified the company.
“It’s a horrible time for everybody concerned…but it unified them like never before.
“I am happy to be back on Saipan with our staff. The company is going to keep investing here as it has done in the last 10 years. We are looking forward to launching LTE. Just like we were the first to launch 3G here, the first to launch 4G here, we’ll be the first to launch LTE here.
“I am pretty confident in the future of the company and I am very excited that despite the setback I feel like Saipan has many better days ahead. I am glad that we are part of the business community here, in supporting the government’s efforts to make Saipan what it can [be]—a great place. I’ve always believe in this island and still do.”