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Cable theft costs LIME $35M in five months

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Cable theft costs LIME $35M in five months on Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:18 pm



Written by TechJamaica.com

LIME, Jamaica’s only full service telecoms provider, is again being plagued by cable theft and the company has spent more than $35 million in the last five months to replace transmissions cables which have been stolen.

LIME’s customers in several communities have been left without service as thieves vandalize and pilfer the company’s cables to reap copper presumably to sell to scrap metal dealers. Between May and September, 49 incidents of cable theft have occurred affecting customers in St. Ann, St. Catherine, St. Mary, St. James and St. Thomas.

“Cable theft is causing serious problems for both our residential and commercial customers because if people are unable to communicate even for few hours it is a major inconvenience,” said LIME’s Vice President, Service Delivery Howard Mollison.

“We are urging citizens to be vigilant and anyone who observes any suspicious activity near any telephone cables should call 119 or the nearest police station,” he added.

For more than a year, LIME has enjoyed a respite from cable theft which plagued the company throughout 2007. That year, the company spent approximately US$2M replacing stolen cables. Strong lobby action by LIME and other companies and organizations affected by theft led the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce to temporarily suspend the export of scrap metal.

“We certainly hope that the problem won’t reach the epidemic levels we saw in 2007 and early 2008, so we are taking steps to stamp it out now and we are getting strong support from the Ministry of Industry and the Customs Department,” Mr. Mollison said.

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