The Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) yesterday criticised the Communications Workers Union (CWU) for attempting to mislead the public and undermine the company, on the issue of a fibre break that impacted services to Tobago last week.
In a news release yesterday, TSTT said it was providing the facts to what led to the break, last Friday.
The company said that around 3 a.m. a fibre cable located in Toco, which is instrumental in delivering service to Tobago, was deliberately cut.
TSTT said its network has built-in redundancy so the traffic was immediately rerouted to an alternative pathway, but it did not have the same capacity so customers would have experienced intermittent interruptions in their service.
“The CWU’s vicious attempt to suggest otherwise is pitiful and nothing more than misplaced creative liberties. TSTT categorically rejects the CWU’s claim that service was “rendered inaccessible,” the release said.
The majority State-owned company said the repair exercise was extensive and, as a result, customers experienced intermittent service interruptions for 18 hours from 3 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“Given the location of the fibre break and the extensive work required, a restoration time of 18 hours is well within industry standards. Whether a convenient omission or an intentional oversight by the CWU, the restoration time would have been the same if the incident occurred before the May 31, 2022, exercise,” TSTT added.
The telecommunications company explained that TSTT has developed a future state-organisation that leverages its significant capital investments in technology; one that enables it to adapt and evolve with the constant technological developments and support growth in the foreseeable future.
TSTT called on the CWU to refocus its agenda and truly seek the best interest of the employees by working together to achieve this mission.
“It is important to note that the incident which impacted service to Tobago was directly linked to the theft of copper cables. In carrying out their criminal activities, vandals often destroy fibre optic cables in the process. This material (fibre) has no significant commercial value, however, when damaged, it can lead to widespread service outages. These acts of sabotage are a major inconvenience that directly impacts people, impairs communities, and hinders productivity,” the release further stated.
TSTT strongly condemned the criminal activity and the actions of those who fuel the illicit trade by purchasing the stolen material.
“Members of the public are reminded that criminal activities of this nature attract severe penalties under the Telecommunications Act. By virtue of Section 69 (1) of the Act, a person who maliciously damages, removes, or destroys facility works or other installation of a public network or a public telecommunications service commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to $250,000 and to imprisonment of up to five years,” TSTT added.
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