The outage on the only cable serving the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) has caused to a serious disruption, not only to telecom and Internet services, but to the economy as well.  Everything from ATM transactions to airline flights have been affected.  The following is a timeline of the incident.

July 8: IT&E owner and operator of the only cable serving the CNMI, reported the cable outage.  All phone and Internet services to the islands of Saipan, Rota and Tinian were cut.

July 8: Docomo Pacific, which uses the IT&E cable, reported that its telephone and Internet services were out, although television services remained operational

July 9: Docomo Pacific reported that as of 1:30pm local time, voice and SMS services were restored on Saipan.  Mobile data and Internet services remained out on Saipan and all services were out on Rota and Tinian.

July 10: Divers attempt to locate the point of failure off Tinian, but are hampered by rough seas and the depth of the water.

July 12: IT&E reported that the activation of a microwave backup link allowed some improvement in services on Saipan.’

July 14: IT&E reported that the activation of an additional microwave backup link has improved services, but that they are still slow.

July 16: Government of CNMI declares a “State of Significant Emergency”

July 16: IT&E reported that a cable ship would arrive on July 22

July 22: IT&E said that rough weather had delayed the ship and it would arrive instead on July 23

July 23: TE SubCom cable ship Durable reaches Saipan

July 24: Durable locates cable and begins repair work

July 27: Estimated completion date for repairs