July 11, 2015
It seems the fiber optic cable to the CNMI had snapped between Tinian and Saipan after midnight on July 8th. It could take more than two weeks to repair depending on the extent of the damage.
No ATMs, no internet, no telephone and no regular flights in or out of the islands. The Pacific Daily News reported that on Friday United Airlines provided an aircraft with satellite technology to fly between Saipan and Guam.
There is only one fiber optic cable to the CNMI. It was installed in 1997. Guam is linked to multiple systems, a choice made by the government to prevent the very disaster that has occurred in Saipan - being technologically cutoff from the world with economic consequences.
Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno from The Pacific Daily News reported:
In the CNMI, the local government had an opportunity to use federal economic stimulus funds for a second undersea cable, said Guam telecommunications consultant Bob Kelly.
Kelly said the CNMI government rejected his suggestion, so when the recent CNMI undersea cable break occurred, he said he wasn't surprised by what he called the "single point of failure," which had the effect of shutting the entire Saipan economy from the rest of the world.It must be extremely frustrating for the residents, business owners and tourists. If anything, this shows how vulnerable we are when it comes to technology. The CNMI needs to get connected!