Telephone and other utility lines took a major blow from Maria

Just under two months since the passage of Hurricane Maria, telecommunication company, Flow, is reporting that mobile and data services have been restored to 85 percent of the island’s population.

“Eighty-five percent of our people here can make and receive mobile calls and can have communication via data services,” the company’s manager, Jeffrey Baptiste said at a press briefing on Monday.

According to Baptiste, all of Flow’s 49 cell sites were off the air the morning after the storm, however, 33 are now fully operational.

“So we had 49 cell sites totally off air as a direct result of the impact from Hurricane Maria,” he stated. “Ten percent of our mobile infrastructure was totally devastated and destroyed. I can report that we have now restored 33 of the 49 cell sites, in any language you put it, in below two months considering the unprecedented impact our country as a whole suffered, 33 out of 49 sites restored is nothing short of phenomenal.”

He stated the figure represents 67 percent of mobile sites that are back in action.

Baptiste said the company has restored services to Roseau and environs, Marigot, Portsmouth and the Scotts Head area.

He stated that four additional sites will be completed by November 30.

“And this will include areas in the south and southeastern part of the country,” he said.

He noted that Flow is working to complete restoration work in Grand Bay, Bellevue Chopin and Pichelin areas by this week.

“Meaning by the middle of this week, we expect to have these areas restored,” Baptiste noted.

In terms of the company’s fixed telephone system, he stated that 75 percent of the copper infrastructure was devastated and damaged by the hurricane.

“We are continuing our line plan surveys and we are continuing restoration works in several areas of the country,” Baptiste remarked. “To date, we have a total of about 80 percent of our major business customers restored with service and the pace of success is closely linked to the state of readiness at these respective institutions.”

He said Flow is working in the Roseau and Portsmouth areas to restore connectivity to every business place that is ready.

He noted that 70 percent of government services have been restored.