TSTT installing new overhead cable protection system

Company investing TT$M to protect customer services

TSTT is experimenting with an innovative method for securing the company’s overhead cables in an aggressive multi-million dollar repair program tackling areas affected by cable vandalism. However the company is not promising any quick-fixes. “We are focusing on areas where it is practical to place cables underground or where we can use a new overhead cable protection system which makes it difficult to cut and steal the cable.” says Nigel Phillips, TSTT’s Head of Access Plant Management.

Phillips said that although the company had created dedicated crews focusing exclusively on fixing damaged cables, there are over 200 jobs to be done and the company is still getting new reports almost daily. He said most new cases have to go on a 4 to 6 week waiting list as the company is giving priority to areas that had been without service for the longest time. These include Princes Town, Morvant/Laventille, Penal, Mausica, Siparia, Cumuto, Fyzabad, La Brea, Point Fortin, Central and Belmont.

Given the frequency with which cables were being repeatedly stolen from particular areas, Phillips explained that the company had to take time to test new systems that could better guarantee customers a continuously reliable service. “People are exasperated with having their services repeatedly cut off.” Phillips said this ‘revolving-door’ experience wasted resources and was a constant source of concern for customers and TSTT alike.

To date TSTT has installed more than three thousand kilometers of new cable, material which Phillips said could have been better utilised to bring telephone service to new areas or upgrade older cables in key areas. “TSTT recognizes that it has to fulfill its obligation to customers so we have to continue to find better solutions to keep ahead of cable vandals. Burying the cables or putting some form of protection on them is an expensive undertaking. It is costing TSTT over $5 million dollars but the investment would be worth it if it puts a halt to the vandals. Their actions will affect everyone in the long run –TSTT, customers and other telecom operators” warned Phillips.