MAYA-1 fiber cable system shuts down for repairs

Posted on Jul 31, 2013 in Industry News, News

The MAYA-1 undersea fiber-optic cable system, which runs from Hollywood, FL to Tolu, Colombia and lands at Cancun (Mexico), Puerto Cortes (Honduras), Puerto Limon (Costa Rica), Half Moon Bay (Cayman Islands), and Maria Chiquita (Panama), was shut down at midnight this morning so maintenance crews could attempt to circumvent a failure that has limited service to the Cayman Islands.

LIME, one of the users of the submarine fiber cable system, reports that at approximately 6 AM on Sunday, July 28, MAYA-1 suffered a shunt fault on Segment 6, which is located between the landing station at Half Moon Bay and Repeater 1 in Cayman. The fault has prevented the local power feeding units from reaching their operating output levels and has sent them into shutdown mode. LIME said yesterday that “numerous attempts” to fix the problem had failed. In fact, as of yesterday the carrier says crews have failed to identify the source of the problem.

To circumvent the issue, which has knocked out 34% of LIME’s international circuits into the islands, the MAYA Consortium has agreed to shut down the system so it can be reconfigured to power-feed the cable from Miami. There has been no word on how long this process will take.

Meanwhile, LIME has looked to restore as much service as possible via the Cayman Jamaica Fibre system. Nevertheless, the carrier says customers should expect the following:

  • ADSL and mobile data customers may experience degradation of Internet service
  • Intermittent failures with international dialing
  • Roaming customers may encounter call issues
  • Difficulties when calling internationally; inbound calls also will be affected.

LIME says crews continue to inspect the fiber-optic network in search of the problem’s source. It has advised a cable repair ship as a member of the Atlantic Cable Maintenance Agreement body (ACMA) to be on standby should the problem’s cause be found on the undersea portion of the network.

“This is obviously a major outage for the country, and we apologize for this protracted downtime and impact to consumers and businesses,” LIME GM Tony Ritch stated. “Regrettably given the complexity of this system, it is taking quite some time to identify the fault. At this stage we are expecting the system configuration changes…to yield positive results and restore the traffic. Our local team is also working diligently to re-route traffic where possible to minimize the impact.

“Until we are able to conduct some additional tests (in the early hours of Tuesday morning) once the entire system is off-line, we may not be able to definitively identify the likely location of a possible cable fault. Unfortunately, LIME will not be able to offer any additional details on the likely restoration time-frame until more information becomes available,” Ritch concluded.