TelEm Group: businesses a priority in restoration of services after major outage Sunday

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~Full internet restoration expected by 10:00pm Monday night~

PHILIPSBURG – TelEm Group said restoration of services for the opening of business Monday morning, December 19, was a priority Sunday night, after the company’s main undersea cable, SMPR-1 was damaged earlier that day.

Thanks to support and assistance from other telecom carriers, TelEm Group were able to establish an alternative submarine cable route between St. Maarten and Puerto Rico for the company’s international voice and data circuits.

This meant priority access to the banking and financial sector with activation of leased lines and also important connections to clients such as PJIAE, so that flight information and services could once again be made available to passengers.

“We still have had some challenges at the start of the business day Monday, especially with residential customers and some businesses who are not getting optimal internet service at this time,” said Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Eldert Louisa.

He said fiber optic capacity made available by Digicel and Telefonica on French St. Martin with the additional assistance of Dauphin Telecom was still being optimized by early Monday evening.

“Some testing would still be required once all circuits are connected from the French side to the Dutch side because the undersea part is already in place,” said Louisa.

“We are not yet making full use of the 10 Gigabits capacity that is being made available to us, so once all the connections are made, service and access to many more sites and servers should be fully restored by 10:00pm, Monday night,” said the CTO earlier in the evening.

Louisa appealed to internet users to be patient while final adjustments to the alternative routing solution is made.

“Customers can rest assured that we are doing all that we can to ensure full services are restored as soon as possible, “continued Louisa.

He said thanks to the support provided by other carriers, mobile data services were restored early Sunday evening and much of the business sector were provided with basic services Monday morning, as a matter of priority because of the many banking transactions that are taking place at this time in the Christmas season.

He said, in the meantime TelEm Group has begun negotiations with the specialist vessel and equipment required to repair the damaged SMPR-1 cable owned and operated by TelEm Group, estimating at least three weeks before that work can be completed, taking the holiday season into consideration.