Engineers faces major task to repair critical cable

| 19/09/2013

(CNS): Local telecommunications firm LIME has revealed that major engineering work will be required to fix the MAYA-1 Cable, which will take place in Cayman starting on Friday. The damaged part of the cable, which links the seven countries in the region, has been found to be close to Half Moon Bay and so that segment of the cable will be beached and repaired here. The cable ship Pacific Guardian (PACG) is expected shortly and work is scheduled to begin Friday through until Tuesday. Although the cable will be shut down, traffic will be routed on the Cayman-Jamaica Fibre System (CJFS) and there should be minimal interruption to local communication channels, the firm said.

MAYA-1 is one of two submarine cable systems that provide telecommunications to the Cayman Islands. The cable connects seven countries: the United States, Mexico, Honduras, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia. It is owned by a consortium of 35 telecoms companies, including Cable & Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.

LIME stated in a release Wednesday that over the last several weeks since the initial fault last month the MAYA-1 consortium and key stakeholders have been preparing to start the complex repairs. Test result showed that the location of the is fault is 145 metres off the coast of Grand Cayman at the Half Moon Bay “Beach Manhole”. 

The location of the shunt fault and its close proximity to the shore requires that the segment that comes into Grand Cayman be re-landed to the beach manhole, the firm explained.  “The repair operation will follow a similar plan to the original installation which took place in November 1999.  The cable will be floated in from the cable ship and laid parallel to the existing cable. Extreme care will be taken to preserve coral and marine wildlife of the area, as well as designated tourist dive sites,” LIME stated.

“The cable ship Pacific Guardian (PACG) will be arriving in Grand Cayman and the work to repair the fault will commence on Friday 20th and continue until Tuesday 24th September. To facilitate the repair this segment of the MAYA-1 Cablewill be shut down for the duration of the repair period; during this time affected traffic on this segment will be routed on the Cayman Jamaica Fibre System (CJFS)," it added.

Donnie Forbes, Head of Infrastructure and Planning, Cayman Islands said LIME had been heavily involved with the logistics of this complex repair.

“We anticipate that with favourable weather conditions it will be completed in approximately 3-5 days,” he said.  “Although some service degradation may be experienced we won’t have the same widespread issues we encountered with the initial fault as prior to the work commencing traffic will be rerouted to the Cayman Jamaica Fibre System (CJFS) which will ensure the majority of our customers’ services will be minimally impacted.”

LIME also noted that it had has been working with the Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), the Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment, the Department of Environment, Immigration, the Police, the Port Authority, the Ministry of Home and Community Affairs and the Ministry of Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure (PLAHI) throughout this incident and all necessary approvals have been received.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    only 2 cables serve the Cayman islands? with all these upgrades announced with increasing regularity by lime, digicel, logic, weststar and now some other group entering the market soon…maybe its time we had another couple of cables laid? i bet there are a lot of mission-critical enterprises on this island that would appreciate more redundancy options than 1 cable via Jamaica……  i'm sure there's a developer on the island who has a few $$ to lay a privately owned one……..heck, he may even make money out of that investment 😉

    • Anonymous says:

      we are the size of disney world…we dont need more than one cable jack

    • Anonymous says:

      The cost to install Maya-1 was approx $216 million and its capacity is 82.6Gbps, more than adequate for the region. 

      Good luck getting a return on that investment.



  2. ICTA says:

    Our politicians need to educate themsleves (a brief overview from Alva Suckoo would suffice) and pressure the ICTA and Cayman Telecom carriers to add another link so we truly can be a world class financial center. Also, simple peering is not offered and should be. Ask any IT manager and they will tell you that we could do much better on redundancy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This really is sour like a lime.

    I hope they pay to have the cable beached here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Check your phone bill… you paying for it – 2% Beached Cable Surcharge