News

Vandals disrupt Flow's services in St Catherine

Friday, March 21, 2014    

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COLUMBUS Communications, operator of Flow, complained yesterday that vandals again caused disruption in telecommunications services for residents and businesses in Twickenham Park and surrounding areas of St Catherine.

"In the most recent incident, severe damage was inflicted to the fibre-optic network at two separate points along Mandela Highway. This network delivers Internet, cable TV and telephone services to communities in and around Spanish Town, Portmore and White Marl, where a number of manufacturing firms are situated," the company said in a release yesterday.

"On Tuesday afternoon our Network Operations Centre was alerted to service interruptions to a number of business operations. When our technical team visited the area there was clear evidence of intentional invasion and damage to our network," said Gail Abrahams, director of corporate communications for Columbus.

At one location the criminals accessed and cut the aerial fibre-optic cable. At the other location they damaged the underground cables, the company said.

Service, it said, was subsequently restored to all customers, with the exception of those receiving Internet service in Caymanas Estate which was expected to have service restored by last night. However, Abrahams reiterated the impact of these incidents and other incidents. "This vandalism not only severely inconveniences hundreds of customers and hinders business operations, but incurs significant costs when resources have to be allocated to repair the damage," she said.

Columbus, meanwhile, offered a reward for $100,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the capture and conviction of persons guilty of the vandalism.

"We continue to appeal to the public to be on the lookout and report any suspicious activities that lead to destruction of the telecommunications infrastructure which is critical to our economic development," she said. "Ultimately this hurts consumers, negatively impacts business operations and hampers the delivery of education in our schools where the Internet is an important tool in the teaching and learning process."

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