March 15, 2006 – The V.I. Telephone Corp., also known as Vitelco, expects all its phones to be back on in the Coral Bay, St. John area by midday Wednesday.
About 400 customers on the island's East End, Upper Carolina and Coral Bay areas lost service early Tuesday when vandals allegedly set fire to a 600-pair cable located near Guy Benjamin School.
Karen Baranowski, owner of Windspree Vacation Homes, relied on her cell phone Tuesday to keep her office running. She said that when she went to work Wednesday morning, her phones were working.
"I was relieved," she said.
At noon Wednesday, she said crews were still working to repair the damage. Baranowski described the exposed cable pairs where the crew was working as a "rat's nest."
Phone company spokeswoman Janette Millin Young said that phone service has returned gradually to the area, with the Police and Fire departments getting their service back first.
She said that the Police Department continues to investigate the apparent vandalism to the phone company's property.
Vitelco president and chief executive officer David Sharp apologized for the outage.
"I appeal to the public to be ever vigilant regarding these acts of vandalism which affect us all," Sharp said in a news release issued Wednesday.
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