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Virgin Islands senator raises concern about power outages and communications

Posted December 29th, 2015 in Broadband, cable company, economy, U.S. Virgin Islands by Alton Drew

The following is a press release from U.S. Virgin Islands senator Tregenza Roach regarding recent power outages in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the impact on subscribers with bundled internet, cable, and telephone services:

TAR# 80-2015

Senator Roach is Concerned with Loss of Communication Services during Blackout

Senator Tregenza A. Roach, Esq. says the recent power outage which left St. Thomas, St. John, and Water Island without power for several hours has revived his concern that residents who rely on one connection for telephone service, Internet services, and cable television will be left without access even to emergency services in the event of an extensive, long-lasting outage.

Senator Roach said he has raised the concern with both Innovative and the Public Services Commission (PSC) on previous occasions, and that these entities have both responded with assurances connected to the use of a back-up battery which should ensure connectivity for several hours of an outage.

But clearly Tuesday’s outage which left many residents without telephone, Internet and cable services proves otherwise, Senator Roach, said. To compound the problem, the Senator observed that the situation also extends to the Territory’s business community, as all card transactions which require a telephone phone line are also affected. The same applies to ATM transactions as well.

At the least, the telephone company should be required to provide each of its landline households a low-cost cell phone which can be used only in the event of an emergency. Certainly our residents are worth such an investment, Senator Roach said.

“This is huge,” Senator Roach said, “It can cripple the Territory just like that.” Roach said he will bring his concerns to the PSC again and believe that VITEMA, the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency, should also have the concern about the inability of residents to communicate in the event of another outage, a hurricane, or other type of emergency.