MAYA-1 submarine fiber cable system back online but problem remains unresolved

Aug. 1, 2013
LIME Cayman Islands says that service has been restored on the MAYA-1 submarine fiber cable system after a service interruption that began early Sunday. However, the problem that knocked out communications to the Caymans still hasn’t been identified or fixed.

LIME Cayman Islands says that service has been restored on the MAYA-1 submarine fiber cable system after a service interruption that began early Sunday. However, the problem that knocked out communications to the Caymans still hasn’t been identified or fixed.

The fiber-optic link into the Caymans shut down Sunday due to a shunt fault somewhere between the landing station at Half Moon Bay, Grand Cayman, and a repeater almost 50 miles away (see “MAYA-1 fiber cable system shuts down for repairs”). The fault prevented the link from powering properly, forcing the link to shut down. Operators of the undersea fiber-optic network, which runs from the U.S. to Colombia and provides services to several nations in between, managed to restore power on the link to the from the Hollywood Cable Station in the U.S. LIME had said that performing this operation would require that the entire cable systems be shut down.

While LIME says that all segments of MAYA-1 are now up and running normally, it admits that it still doesn’t know what caused the failure, which means it has yet to be repaired. The company says it will work with its MAYA-1 consortium partners to solve this issue. Meanwhile, it had hired a dive master to examine the cable near the landing station (see “Source of MAYA-1 submarine fiber cable fault still undetermined”).

"Our engineers have been working around the clock since Sunday to determine the cause of the problem,” according to Donnie Forbes, head of infrastructure and planning, Cayman Islands for LIME, explained via a company press release. “As soon as we recognized that we had a problem we had our most experienced people along with our partners in the MAYA-1 consortium working on the issue. Finally in the early hours of Wednesday morning after a total power-down and reconfiguration of the way the system is energized, the system was restored."

LIME reported that some 34% of its international circuits were lost when the cable shut down; other carriers using MAYA-1 into the Caymans also were affected, but not to the same degree, according to local reports. "The traffic on our Cayman Jamaica Fibre System (CJFS) cable was not impacted and whilst customers did experience some degradation of service our backup plans quickly went into operation and we moved the majority of impacted traffic onto CJFS which meant customers were able to continue to do business,” Forbes said. “I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in bringing MAYA-1 back on line and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience this has caused."

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