Cable repair ship docked in CNMI

1:54 pm on 24 July 2015

A long awaited repair ship is being held up by authorities in the Northern Marianas as the territory nears a third week of hampered communications.

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.

Businesses have been severely affected and our CNMI correspondent, Mark Rabago says one estimate puts the damage for the day of the blackout at 21 million US dollars.

He says the ship, CS Durable arrived yesterday morning but has to be cleared by the US Coastguard before it can start work.

"It was docked yesterday at the port of Saipan, basically it has to clear some inspections by the US Coastguard before it goes to the site of the severed cable. So no updates but the ship has arrived, and IT&E said once it reaches the site of the repairs, it has a 48 hour window to fix the repairs, that's the expected timeline."

Mark Rabago says it is not yet known when the ship will be cleared to start fixing the cable.

IT&E diver checks fibre optic cable.

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

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