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PORT MORESBY, PNG (PNG Post-Courier, Aug. 2) – Tampering of fibre optic cable between the Boroko and Ela Beach exchanges saw a blackout in telecommunications service most of yesterday.

Telikom staff who were at work while most of their colleagues were on an indefinite strike told the Post-Courier that acts of vandalism to Telikom equipment had prevented a quick repair job.

Mobile phone services to Lae, Morobe Province from Port Moresby yesterday went off as early as 11.45am.

Service provider Pacific Mobile Communications said yesterday mobile to mobile calls and fixed line to mobile calls were also shut down — as they were not getting through the Telikom exchanges.

Telikom employees dealing with the blackout said mobile to mobile calls in the National Capital District went down not because of congestion but were affected because of the number of calls increasing on the network because of the non-availability of fixed lines.

Managing director Noel Mobiha said when such outages occurred, PMC lost thousands of kina a day in revenue.

He brushed aside suggestions of sabotage on the fixed line network as the cause of congestion to the Boroko exchange.

He said there was no proof of that.

Telikom acting managing director Martin Veisame said in an advertisement that the entire telecommunication service from fixed line service to mobile network and vice versa could have collapsed at about 11am yesterday.

"This is due to suspected tampering of the fibre optic cable between the Boroko and Ela Beach exchanges," Mr Veisame said.

He said customer service numbers with prefixes 320, 321, 322, 308, 309 and 180 would not be able to make or receive calls as a result.

Telikom management yesterday appealed to its striking employees to return to work as the current boycott was illegal.

Mr Veisame said delays could be expected in the restoration of any service disruptions during the boycott, which non-striking Telikom employees yesterday termed as unwarranted as the question of the payment of a 4 per cent wage increase — the only claim with an industrial background — had been granted.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

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