TelEm Internet services fully restored by mid-evening Mon.

POND ISLAND–TelEm’s Internet services were expected to be fully restored by 10:00pm on Monday, the company said.

Restoration of services for the opening of business Monday morning was a priority, after the company’s main undersea cable, SMPR-1 was damaged on Sunday. “Thanks to support and assistance from other telecom carriers, TelEm Group was able to establish an alternative submarine cable route between St. Maarten and Puerto Rico for the company’s international voice and data circuits,” TelEm said in a press release.

This meant priority access to the banking and financial sector with activation of leased lines and also important connections to clients such as Princess Juliana International Airport SXM (PJIA) 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 were not getting optimal Internet service at this time,” said TelEm Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Eldert Louisa.

He said fibre optic capacity made available by Digicel and Telefonica in French St. Martin with the additional assistance of Dauphin Telecom was still being optimised 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. 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,” Louisa said.

He appealed to Internet users to be patient while the 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.”

Thanks to support received from 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 of the Christmas season.

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.

Source: The Daily Herald