Cable repair ship due in CNMI on Thursday

10:39 am on 22 July 2015

A Taiwanese ship contracted to repair a vital undersea communications link to the Northern Marianas is now expected to arrive on Thursday.

IT&E diver checks fibre optic cable.

An IT&E diver checks the undersea fibre optic cable in the Northern Marianas. Photo: IT&E

The fibre optic cable linking Guam and the CNMI was severed nearly two weeks ago, cutting all phone and web connections to the territory for several days.

The repair ship contracted by the telecommunications provider I T & E has been delayed a day because of high seas and storms.

The ship is a specialised vessel that uses jets to propel and hold itself in place rather than propellers.

The company earlier said once the ship arrives it would take 48 hours to fix the fault that has plunged Saipan into a network blackout .

A State of Significant Emergency was declared in the CNMI last week after banking, tourism and retail activities were disrupted by the blackout.