Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Network damage from Corporate Area major road projects cost Flow over $40M

Published:Thursday | August 16, 2018 | 4:10 PM
Damaged ducts and cables belonging to Flow in the Constant Spring area - Contributed photo

Telecommunication company Flow Jamaica is reporting that damage to its network as a result of major road projects being undertaken across the Corporate Area has cost the company $40 million.

Flow says since the start of the year the company has experienced over 20 outages which have impacted thousands of customers.

According to the company, the National Works Agency has failed to consistently inform its technical team at least 24 hours in advance of conducting excavation works, noting that its network is extensive and requires a well-coordinated relocation effort and adequate time to mitigate damage and service disruption.

“Over fifteen thousand customers have had their services disrupted or experienced difficulties accessing same, following extensive damage to several sections of our fibre and copper networks along the Nelson Mandela Highway, Constant Spring Road, Mannings Hill Road, Maxfield Avenue, Hagley Park Road and within the general Three Miles environs,” Flow said in a statement.

“We are aware that some customers, particularly those in the Constant Spring area, have experienced multiple outages and we continue to engage in several weekly meetings and regular dialogue with the NWA and its lead contractors, as we work to keep Jamaica connected while the country undergoes this major infrastructural development,” the company added.

“We are deeply concerned about the restoration timeline for the over 1800 business and residential customers from over twelve communities along the Hagley Park Road, and within the general Three Miles environs who were affected by roadworks conducted on July 9, 2018. Our Technical teams stand ready to commence the permanent restoration of services once we have the green light from the NWA as they require access to the new location for our cables,” the company further said.

Flow said that the company remains mindful of its obligation to its customers and have, where possible, temporarily restored some services via other options.

On the issue of rebates Flow said,“Given that the outages are the result of damage to Flow’s network by a third party, requests for a rebate will be assessed and handled in accordance with our Terms and Conditions and Service Level Agreements once services have been restored.”

Full Statement

Flow is fully supportive of projects that support national development and has successfully collaborated with the National Works Agency (NWA) on many of these across the country.

Our network is extensive and requires a well-coordinated relocation effort and adequate time to mitigate damage to our plant and minimise disruptions to the customers it serves. However, since the start of the year, we have experienced over 20 outages as a result of the roadworks being undertaken by the main contractors for the NWA, and the Agency’s failure to consistently inform our technical team at least 24 hours in advance of conducting excavation works in the Corporate Area. 

Consequently, over fifteen thousand customers have had their services disrupted or experienced difficulties accessing same, following extensive damage to several sections of our fibre and copper networks along the Nelson Mandela Highway, Constant Spring Road, Mannings Hill Road, Maxfield Avenue, Hagley Park Road and within the general Three Miles environs.

The repair cost has already exceeded J$40 million as we have restored services to customers along the Nelson Mandela Highway and those located in the Constant Spring Road, Mannings Hill Road, and Maxfield Avenue areas.

We are aware that some customers, particularly those in the Constant Spring area, have experienced multiple outages and we continue to engage in several weekly meetings and regular dialogue with the NWA and its lead contractors, as we work to keep Jamaica connected while the country undergoes this major infrastructural development.

Notwithstanding these efforts, we are deeply concerned about the restoration timeline for the over 1800 business and residential customers from over twelve communities along the Hagley Park Road, and within the general Three Miles environs who were affected by roadworks conducted on July 9, 2018. 

We remain mindful of our obligation to our customers and have, where possible, temporarily restored some services via other options.  As we continue to put these other arrangements in place, however, we note that the current situation is far from ideal and certainly not enough for the thousands who are still without TV, fixed voice and internet services.  Our Technical teams stand ready to commence the permanent restoration of services once we have the green light from the NWA as they require access to the new location for our cables.

We commit to doing our best to minimise the service disruptions and take this opportunity to again apologise to our customers.  We wish to assure them that all efforts are being made to restore their services as quickly as possible.  Given that the outages are the result of damage to Flow’s network by a third party, requests for a rebate will be assessed and handled in accordance with our Terms and Conditions and Service Level Agreements once services have been restored.

Telecommunication services are vital to businesses, to families and friends and are required for the efficient and effective operation of the country.  This is a responsibility that the Flow Jamaica team takes very seriously and so, we will continue to work with the NWA to ensure that proactive relocation measures can be taken to reduce the impact on our valued customers and the wider public.

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