Digicel, Columbus Communications blame vandals for network outage
$1-m reward offered for arrest of perpetrators

A photo provided by Digicel showing the damage done to its fibre-optic cables.

TELECOMS companies Digicel and Columbus Communica-tions Jamaica Limited, operators of Flow, are offering a $1-million reward for the arrest and conviction of vandals who damaged their fibre routes, causing a network outage yesterday.

In a release yesterday, Digicel said that both its primary and back-up fibre routes “suffered multiple incidents of vandalism” between the hours of 8:00 am and 10:00 am, in what it described as an act of “malicious vandalism” that resulted in customers being unable to send and receive calls and use data services. Fourth-generation (4G) customers were particularly affected.

“At 8:35 am this morning (yesterday) we lost several fibre pairs on our underground fibre route from our Caymanas switch building; however, service was not interrupted as traffic was automatically

rerouted to our backup aerial fibre route. However, 50 minutes later, at approximately 9:25 am, we sustained damage to our backup fibre route as well, which traverses a completely different path as part of our network resiliency. This resulted in

service interruption to our customers,” Digicel CEO Barry O’Brien explained.

He said Digicel’s technical teams and bandwidth service providers repaired the damage and service was fully restored early in the day.

“We take the opportunity to sincerely apologise to affected customers for the inconvenience. We have reported the incidents to the police and we promise to work with them to thoroughly investigate this highly unusual case of double vandalism,” O’Brien said, noting that the company is “still assessing the scale and cost of the damage”.

“We take this matter very seriously and we are doing everything possible to find the perpetrators, to hold them accountable and to prevent a reoccurrence. This reward is part of how we will encourage those who have information to come forward,” he added.

In the meantime, Michele English, president and chief operating office of Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited, also apologised to customers about the disruption. “We apologise for the interruption in our fibre-optic services earlier

today, which resulted from the actions of criminals who continue to vandalise our telecommunications infrastructure.”


  1. If such is the case then time will tell if de vandals dem get burn to a crisp while tampering with equipments, and when bill start to raise because likkle petty criminals a destroy de people dem things fi no DAMN GOOD REASON.

  2. They should have tried to vandalize the phones that were ceased. Too late, the horse has already bolted out of the gates.

  3. The persons that did this have a high level of technical skills, since they damage both the primary and secondary. They also knew exactly where “lines” were and how to attack such lines. I think this was done by either their “competitors” or employees or former employees of Digicel. This was not done by street thugs.

    1. competitor, employee, subcontractor…still damn common criminal/vandals. Me always a look fi de surge of bun bodies pon de high tension wires. After 10 dead dem will stop thief light and fiber optics.

  4. The fix is in?

    VYBZ KARTEL TRIAL: Prosecutors Say Telephone Records Missing

    There has been a major development in the Vybz Kartel murder case as a key piece of evidence has gone missing.

    Prosecutors have disclosed that a compact disc or CD containing telephone records cannot be located.

    The revelation of the missing CD came during cross examination of telecommunications expert Joseph Simmonds, who is Group Business Risk Director at telecommunications company Digicel.

    Simmonds testified that he received a request from the police for subscriber information in relation to 40 telephone numbers.


    1. Like there isn’t a backup on file……come hell or high water the evidence will surface. Idiots there’s master files.

        1. From experience me know sey we “journalist’ dem a “nham a food” reporters. Dem run wid de first thing dem hear fi get a check. Everything have backup. Digicel have backup and backup have backup…lol

        2. Yeah man have a million trillion backup. But court rarely use Backup. Original CD shud have been in possession of the lead investigator, that way it mite preserve the chain a command. Lawyer can argue that back up inadmissable under circumstances . Posibibility of contamination and tampering exist. We watch and see still

          1. if they have a backup it can still be called original because that cd is also a copy of the files and not the original. With data there is no copy once it is a back up of a file which was what was on the cd in the first place..if mi put a back up of jmg on a flash drive it a go be that. The cd that they said they were missing contained phone numbers so the data may have already been broken down..Data isn’t paper

          2. Also I am sure they would not have their data really stored on a disk, unless den a play play phone company. No one keeps disks anymore to store data, they have master files that are put away

          3. ? “court rarely use backup??? me see met ansa you at 7:48.

            Have you ever seen the inside of a sever room? One floor a digicel building may be nothing but servers and guarantee if powa cut employees nah go get nu A/C but the server room will.

          4. dem tink di disk is dem backup and it couldn’t be, the disk would be a copy of the backup actually nuh suh…n dat disk would be kept fi employees use but di company trust and believe has servers that have stored files so den can always guh wid di disk..lol

      1. Mi hear weh yuh a seh met, but I guess I used the term ‘original’ kinda loosely. The issue right now is actually Chain a custody. Even though they might have a master copy from which the ‘original’ missing disc was made. That master copy was suceptible to tampering and altering of data, while the accused awaited trial for over two years. Going back to make another copy of ‘said data’ might not be allowed by the judge. I think so based on the nature of this situation and the whole digital aspect which make manipulation of the data sorta untraceable. Thats why the courts always prefer book keeping. There is hardly any unnoticeable changes that can be made. As it relates to digicel and their storage procedure, CD is actually a good way of storing data for long term. We see wah a gwaan still.

  5. Met @ 10:20….damn fool dem. lol. Notice jurors got LOCKED out during the inner wranglings to keep the technological information under wraps. Me wan know if a de bench dem a gi out information or a de janitor tek de CD think a one a kartel new release….lol

    1. they may have just mentioned that the cd was stolen as formality fi show wha kind a attack di case under das y we se from morning se di media nah report di full..mi nah luk pan di res a u comment doe mi raily cyahh manage :hammer
      also digicel had to be in the room during the lock out and those documents had to be under the court’s care….mi sure digicel neva carry di cd den bring it back………..as u she dem mussy think a new release :hammer

  6. Met a rumor, this is what them put out to intimidates people mind into believing that the demon chile is going to get off the charge and walk free, even though we all know him guilty as sin, even the wicked them weh claim say him walk free know that too, But Massa God a God and the punk is going down, and his high priced attorneys is going down with him, because they are all riding for a fall like the Jericho wall, them could come with all kind of manipulative tactics it’s not shaking me one bit, is not every tune play, me dance, so me nah look pan the evil and his cronies

  7. How coincidental the same time Digicel fi gi evidence in a Kartel case a the same time dem cables get vandalize. Dem can fool man but them cant fool God. But money buy anything and anybody in a Jamaica still, even freedom. Kartel have most if not all a dem Judge, and juror deh in a him pocket and pan him payroll mi wouldn’t be surprise if him walk free cause there is no justice in Jamaica at all, Politicians and people with money does not answer to the law, they are not held accountable for their actions/crimes. But when the roll is call up yonder pan judgement day and Massa God mek the Murderer Line a him a go deh a di front, and when Massa God reel out fi him file, and sentence him claat fi burn in hell a want see if Tavares Finson & Son can save him, or a who him an shorty a go pay off. Dem mussi think dem can push a money inna God back pocket fi save him tortured soul. Him gwine go dung a the pit a hell go push the hell fire, him can galang go try over throw Satan dung deh! Damn wicked bastered. Fi all want seh mi a judge him, I care zero, wah happen to when him a judge people and a tek it up in a fi him hands fi decide who live or dies? Him can blow breath? All a kartel Lawyer pan yah can come defend him, cause I will certainly prosecute unno and him.

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