Phone outage stymies Cayman

Cable & Wireless experienced a major disruption of telecommunication services yesterday morning.

In a brief press statement issued by the company, Cable & Wireless said the services affected included mobile, landline, international and access to 811, 411 and 611. ADLS internet service customers also experienced some disruption of service.

All customers of Cable & Wireless were affected, including police, fire and emergency services.

E-mail links to Cable & Wireless internet customers however, were still functional.

‘Cable & Wireless apologises for intermittent problems that customers may experience when making calls as there has been an interruption in service,’ the company said in the press statement.

TeleCayman President and Chief Operating Officer Raul Nicholson-Coe said TeleCayman customers were still able to call one another and use their internet services. However, TeleCayman customers were not able to call Cable & Wireless customers or Digicel customers.

‘The main interconnection link between us and Digicel is down,’ he said. ‘We’re trying to establish an alternative link to prevent this from happening again.’

Mr. Coe said this was not the first time there had been a disruption of service like this and that sometimes Cable & Wireless schedules planned service interruptions for network maintenance.

‘Normally, they would tell us if they’re going to do that, but we weren’t told about this,’ he said.

Likewise, in a press statement issued early yesterday afternoon, Digicel said its network was fully functional except for interconnectivity.

‘Digicel customers are currently unable to call Cable & Wireless mobile and landline numbers due to problems on the Cable & Wireless network,’ the release stated. ‘Digicel engineers are communicating with Cable & Wireless in order to determine when the problems will be resolved. ‘

Mr. Coe said he thought the outage occurred in the very early hours of Tuesday morning. However, Cable & Wireless did not say when the outage occurred.

Mark Connors, head of economics and regulation at the Information and Communications Technology Authority said there had been complaints made to the ICTA from other telecom carriers, who said they were receiving complaints from customers. Mr. Connors was unsure if any customers had tried to complain directly to the ICTA.

‘Our phones have been out as well,’ he said, adding that the ICTA’s telephones were not operational from the time the office opened.

Mr. Connors said the ICTA had numerous contacts with Cable & Wireless yesterday morning.

‘They assured us they have been working assiduously to fix the problem,’ he said.

The ICTA expects a full report from Cable & Wireless on the matter.

‘It’s a normal occurrence when you have a disruption of this significance for the carrier to submit a complete report to the ICTA,’ he said.

Shortly after noon, Cable & Wireless said it had identified the problem and was restoring connection.

‘All services should be fully restored to within the next hour,’ the statement said.

‘Cable & Wireless would like to sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this interruption in service may cause.’

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