The theft of cables and fiber optic cutting in Panama is an evil that does not stop for the operating companies that provide telecommunications services. However, this year, when the country has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the country has experienced a resurgence of these vandalism to the point that they have reached alarming numbers.
These are events that affect the connectivity of a significant number of Panamanian families, people who are under the modality of teleworking, children and young students, health centers, police and security agencies, companies, businesses and entities whose voice services, Internet and data are disrupted.
So far this year, Cable & Wireless Panamá (+ Móvil) has documented around 70 incidents against its fiber optic and copper networks.
So far this year + Móvil has registered an average of 4 to 6 cases of cable theft per month and at least 70 cases that affect our external plant network. Each time wire theft or vandalism is recorded, an average of 150 to more than 1,200 residential and commercial users are affected. These cases of vandalism and fiber optic cut lead to material losses to the company that exceed $ 300,000 a year.
Areas such as Chilibre, Las Cumbres, Samaria, Bella Vista, Juan Díaz, San Miguelito, province of Colón and beaches , are the sectors in the country that suffer the most from vandalism and cable theft, leaving them vulnerable with this service that is vital today to stay connected.
In addition to these cases of vandalism and cable theft, there are common incidents that frequently occur in fiber optic cuts, caused by animals – chipmunks and birds -, traffic accidents, cable burns and transformers that affect telecommunications cabling.
Also this year, fiber optic networks have been affected by natural events such as winds, electrical storms, severe rains, river flooding and landslides.
“On a recurring basis, vandalism and cable theft have continued in our country. For some citizens, the theft of copper and fiber optic cables has become a lucrative business that causes great losses to the company and interrupts the telecommunications service that we must provide to our clients.
To minimize cable theft, + Móvil opted to place alarms on our communications wiring, which are activated immediately when a cable is cut, this generates a quick response from the technical team to restore service and escalate to The authorities; said Julio Spiegel , Executive President and General Manager of + Móvil “
Spiegel pointed out that + Movil trusts the work carried out by the competent authorities to advance in the clarification of these facts and safeguard the well-being of the citizens, but called on the population to report all suspicious activity of vandalism or theft of cables to Through the telephone numbers 800-2966, 800-2967 or * 966, so that together as a society we can minimize these events that are so damaging to the connectivity of thousands of Panamanians.
At + Móvil we continue to connect Panama with a specialized team highly committed to our clients so that they can enjoy the best service, guaranteeing connectivity and entertainment within everyone’s reach.
As a company, we continue to make important investments to ensure the reliability and stability of the service in Panamanian homes, because our commitment is to continue connecting a country, with a signal that they can trust even in the most difficult moments.