UTS Head Glen Carty reiterates call for underground cables

POSTED: 11/30/14 10:42 PM

St. Maarten —A collaborated effort by telecommunication companies to have all cables placed underground, is still thought by UTS head Glen Carty to be in the best interest of all concerned.

Shortly after the passage of hurricane Gonzalo and the damage sustained to infrastructure, and the loss of some telecommunications services, Carty recommended that the telecommunication companies and Gebe join forces and pool their resources to have all the cables placed underground. He noted that if the companies undertake this venture jointly the cost to each would be greatly reduced.

“Because St. Maarten is in the hurricane belt, we must work diligently to ensure that all cables are underground to prevent loss of service to our customers every time a hurricane strikes the island. We also have to take into consideration that every time the same things get damaged and insurance has to be claimed to meet the cost, this causes a hike in insurance premiums,” Carty said yesterday.

In a press release earlier this month, outgoing minister for Gebe Maurice Lake noted that Gebe  post Gonzalo restoration efforts have included placing cables underground in some areas where the poles had been damaged.

Meanwhile Glen Carty stressed that having all the telecommunications cables underground is in the best interest of the island since it will mean little or no interruption to service during hurricanes and this is best tackled as a group effort. Carty added that UTS is willing to working with all the stakeholders to achieve this goal which he said has the additional benefit of being safer since overhead cables pose dangers and he believes that removing these cables will also serve to make the island look more attractive.

Underground cables, the UTS boss notes, also means providers will forego the additional expense of having poles and cables replaced after they have been downed by strong winds or rains from hurricanes. French St. Martin currently has their telecommunications cables underground and while they were also affected by the passing of Gonzalo, there was little to no interruption in electricity and telecommunications service. This also allowed the French side of the island to carry on with business as usual more readily than the Dutch side after Gonzalo.

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