Colonia, Yap-- The 2018 Micro Games are in full swing in Yap with sports events scheduled throughout the day and evening until July 27, but there's another problem for the event besides the missing Forever Lucky Cruise ship. That would be the missing reliable internet/cell phone connection allowing the rest of the world to know what's going on.
The media team is trying to keep up with posting photos, results, stories and medal tallies as they come in, but online access is struggling to keep with the overall demand incurred when nearly 2,000 people descended on this small island that has only 7,000 residents.
Federated States of of Micronesia Telcom officials have not responded to recent requests for information, but a government source has learned that the 3G cellular network went down 16 times Wednesday. Internet access has been going on and off, as well. The same source has learned that there is a problem with the cable between Yap and Guam that is being assessed and fixed, but there is no timeline for the repair.
Social media have been active with requests from fans around the world for live streaming, Organizers promised it would be available and testing was done the week prior to the start of the Games on July 15th. All was going well until the delegations began arriving last Saturday. During Sunday's Opening Ceremony, streaming stopped after a few minutes. While still available, the quality of the broadcast is unreliable and slow. Videos and photos are being uploaded as a substitute but fans want the experience of watching their teams live.
Microwaves are set up at the Matson Yap Sports Complex for Game coverage and at the main athletes village at Yap High School to serve the 1,000 athletes and coaches staying there.
The newly installed fiber optic cable has been eagerly anticipated by residents for several years. June 28th was announced as the date when everyone on the island was to be switched over from satellite to fiber optic. The switch was completed and residents have been assured they are all on it. But more work was needed when problems arose and it seemed doubtful that high speed internet would be available in time for the Micro Games that began on July 15th.
Residents are now questioning the ability to provide connectivity for any more digital devices than those used by residents. Or whether it can provide even that much service. They wait for word from FSMTC, a Micro Games sponsor. In the meantime, FSMTC has assured Micro Games organizers that they are working round the clock to resolve the problems while the athletes, the media team and several thousand other customers wait for a connection to tell friends and families back home the results of the competitions.