Saipan residents find silver lining in telecomm outage - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Saipan residents find silver lining in telecomm outage

Posted: Updated:

It's been four days since the telecommunications crisis in the CNMI first began. IT&E crews worked around the clock over the weekend to restore greater connectivity to Guam and the CNMI - this following the communication outage that stemmed from damage to IT&E's main undersea fiber cable last week. The damaged cable resulted in a total loss of communication out of Saipan.

While most services have been restored to Guam, Rota, and Tinian, IT&E has reported the restoration of land line, long-distance prepaid, and limited Internet services in Saipan as of Sunday. Jillian Angeline, a reporter at KSPN2 in Saipan's tells KUAM News, "It's basically a dial-up system that we're dealing with right now so yesterday around 11:30pm I was able to go online, and I was able to check my email, but no emails were opening, I could see them all there, but no emails were opening."

She said residents could be seen sitting on top of cars, stretching out their phones trying to get service.

But for some, phone problems were the least of their worries. "Government payday was on Friday - the Department of Finance told us that they had to manually print 1,500 checks," said Angeline.

According to Angeline, the Department of Finance, along with several other businesses may consider relocating to Tinian until full communication services are restored to Saipan. "It was a real cash crisis up until Friday because all the ATMs were down; the ATMs were starting to come back up as of Friday afternoon," she explained. But aside from banking, Angeline says tourism was impacted the most, suffering from cancelled flights and limited credit card capabilities at hotels.

Meanwhile Angeline said Saipan residents are also using creative means to reach their families across the globe. "I'm able to talk to my family in New Jersey through a landline at home and I have coworkers that are giving me messages and then I'm dictating it to my mom to email their families in the Philippines," she said.

On a brighter note, Angeline said many people were actually relieved by the outage, saying, "It gives people a chance to connect and look up from their phones and talk to the people next to them and have that physical connection." And while banking and tourism took a hit, she says the DVD industry is now booming.

Pacific Telecom, Inc. CEO Jim Oehlerking says pending favorable weather conditions in the CNMI, full repair could be completed within the next 12 days. 

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Cop arrested for July 4th car crash

    Cop arrested for July 4th car crash

    A longtime Guam Police officer finds himself on the other side of law. Police officer three Dennis Santos is now in custody at the Department of Corrections. His arrest is in connection to the July 4th car crash that occurred along Marine Corps Drive by K

    More >>

    A longtime Guam Police officer finds himself on the other side of law. Police officer three Dennis Santos is now in custody at the Department of Corrections. His arrest is in connection to the July 4th car crash that occurred along Marine Corps Drive by K

    More >>
  • Globe passes Re-inspection

    Globe passes Re-inspection

    Courtesy: Guam Visitors BureauCourtesy: Guam Visitors Bureau
    Courtesy: Guam Visitors BureauCourtesy: Guam Visitors Bureau
    The Globe night club at the Sandcastle, Tumon was re-inspected by Public Health Tuesday afternoon and passed. According to inspectors all violations were corrected. The Globe was previously shut down after Health officials found an active roach infestatioMore >>
    The Globe night club at the Sandcastle, Tumon was re-inspected by Public Health Tuesday afternoon and passed. According to inspectors all violations were corrected. The Globe was previously shut down after Health officials found an active roach infestatioMore >>
  • Taiwanese nationals face charges of visa fraud

    Taiwanese nationals face charges of visa fraud

    They're accused of entering Guam in June claiming to be tourists under the Visa Waiver Program, but instead stayed and were working as hostesses at a local club called Wild Orchid in Tamuning. Taiwanese nationals Yu-Hsin Chang, I-Ying Lin, Chiao-En Wang,More >>
    They're accused of entering Guam in June claiming to be tourists under the Visa Waiver Program, but instead stayed and were working as hostesses at a local club called Wild Orchid in Tamuning. Taiwanese nationals Yu-Hsin Chang, I-Ying Lin, Chiao-En Wang, More >>
Powered by Frankly