ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Barbudans could be without key communication services for another three days, as telecommunication companies move to restore phone services affected by a massive lightning strike on Sunday.
The Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) told OBSERVER media that it could take up to 72 hours and in excess of EC $200,000 to restore its network.
APUA’s Telecommunications Manager Dalma Hill said the lightning discharge struck the main equipment, which interfaces with both voice and data.
Hill said the machinery is not readily available locally and would have to be sourced from overseas.
“We are working with suppliers to have the service restored. It will take between 48 and 72 hours to have this done,” he said. “We will do whatever it takes to have the service restored.”
Digicel said although it sustained no equipment loss or damage in Monday’s weather disturbance, the heavy lightning strike caused network outage.
LIME, which also provides telecommunication services on Barbuda, said it is working feverishly with other telecommunications entities to ensure service is restored in the shortest possible time following the interruption of all its telecommunication services to and from the sister isle.
The Met Office reported that on Sunday, a tropical wave moved over the island, creating unsettled weather conditions.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)