Over eight thousand customers in the central parish of St. Catherine, were on Saturday without service from telecommunications company, Flow, as vandals set fire to cables in the community of Central Village.
The company, in a release, said residential and business customers lost voice, television and internet services.
“This is not a case of theft as nothing was stolen. Our fiber cables were secured in a manhole which was deliberately breached as the perpetrators went on to set fire to the cables inside. This latest incident again demonstrates the callous disregard for persons who rely on our services for access to emergency services, business, study, and for personal purposes,” said Kayon Mitchell, Flow’s director of corporate communications and stakeholder management.
Thirty-seven communities affected
Flow disclosed that currently its network in 37 communities across Jamaica has been impacted by vandalism and theft.
“Twenty-one of those are in St Catherine, but there are instances where we have restored services to these communities and the network is again vandalized or elements such as cables, batteries and generators are stolen. We have been investing heavily to roll out services to more communities across the island, bringing more Jamaicans online but between the bills for restoration, as a result of vandalism or roadworks in the Corporate Area, those plans will have to be revisited,” Mitchell said.
Significant repair and restoration costs
The company said the cost for restoring services as a result of vandalism and theft of its network infrastructure and elements is around US$2 million per annum, which does not include the significant investment the company is making to further secure its network from criminal elements.
This latest act of vandalism comes just days after Flow conducted a media tour across the Corporate Area where the company’s copper and fiber networks have been repeatedly damaged by contractors engaged by the National Works Agency to conduct roadworks.”