1 Apr 2005

American Samoa telecoms director vows no repeat of communications blackout

8:30 am on 1 April 2005

American Samoa's Telecommunications Authority Director says steps are being taken to ensure that the communications blackout on January 14th, won't happen again.

Aleki Sene told the Senate this week that the satellite company Intelsat used to operate both a primary and back up satellite, but he says when it privatized, it got rid of its back up one.

Mr Sene said Intelsat has given assurances that it will not happen again, and said the company would imminently have a back-up satellite in orbit.

He said it was the first time in 25 years that the primary satellite had ever failed.

Mr Sene also said they are exploring the feasibility of another back up communication system, via a submarine cable.