Mobile cell sites in southern villages heavily damaged by Mawar
Home internet not likely to be restored anytime soon
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The fiber network supporting several mobile cell sites in the southern villages of Guam sustained damage during Typhoon Mawar, according to Docomo Pacific and IT&E.
"Unfortunately, this means there would be no mobile service connectivity even if we were to power these sites with a portable generator," Docomo said.
"We're unable to provide a timeline for restoration at this time. We are working to deploy a solution," IT&E said in a statement Monday.
IT&E said generators have been deployed to undamaged cell sites that can be accessed safely and that have connectivity to the network.
Docomo said it "has formulated an action plan to provide a temporary workaround that should yield positive restoration results until the damaged fiber network is back online."
While the majority of Docomo's mobile cell sites did not suffer significant damage, the company said its restoration efforts are being hindered by the islandwide power outage.
The company said restoring island‐wide power is the first component in restoring fixed services including home and business internet, landlines and cable TV.
"However, even if island power is restored, additional steps may be required to restore home internet," it said.
Docomo said the challenge posed by the power outage is compounded by its inability to keep its portable generators topped off amid long lines for fuel.
"Through close cooperation with Guam Homeland Security, GovGuam, and island fuel vendors, we have been able to include Docomo Pacific rapid response teams to the list of essential services for priority vehicle, facility, and site generator refueling," Docomo said.
The company said portable generators remain deployed at strategic sites to maximize coverage and to ensure a stable power supply for as many mobile sites as possible until island power is restored.
"We are also working closely with GPA as they restore island‐wide services. When an area is re‐energized, our Mobile Services teams will move quickly to assess the Mobile cell sites servicing those areas," Docomo said. "A steady power supply is just the first component in restoring a mobile cell site."
While prioritizing restoration to public safety and healthcare facilities, Docomo said its teams are also working to restore services to all customers across the island.
"Our fixed services team will need to assess if the surrounding areas have power and whether there has been any significant damage to our fiber network," Docomo said.
Customers are advised to use mobile hotspots once mobile service coverage improves in areas.
During this time, Docomo and IT&E said there will be no disconnections until further notice, no data caps for mobile data customers and prepaid customers will stay connected even without load.