Rats chewing through Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s fiberoptic underground lines recently interrupted service for a week for about 140 customers on the West End of Molokai.
According to Jill McGowan, West End Realtor and resident, Oceanic Cable had been giving customers the run around since Dec. 11. However, Oceanic General Manager for Maui County Rick Colletto, said service problems were first reported by customers Dec. 15 or 16.
“We have limited resources on Molokai,” said Colletto, explaining the delay in making the necessary repairs. Apparently, an Oceanic technician spliced the fibers together on Dec. 19 but the line failed again after this temporary fix.
Another Oceanic crew was dispatched from Maui on Dec. 20 and they found other areas that needed fiber splicing after rats had chewed through cables. Rat poison was placed around the new splices but service still did not work.
Colletto said this only solved the problem for about half of the customers. He said a small electronic device needed replacement and now at least 95 percent of the affected modems are working. Initially some of the modems did not accept the fixes. “We are in the midst of figuring this out ourselves,” said Colletto.
According to Colletto, a total of 140 modems in the Ke Nani Kai and Kaluakoi Villas condos were affected.
Delays with service occur on Molokai because of a lack of support staff to help the technicians on island. The number of subscribers does not justify additional support staff, said Colletto.
“We are always sorry when something like this happens and we try to make it right,” said Colletto.