March 14, 2006 – About 400 Vitelco phone customers in the Coral Bay, East End and Upper Carolina areas of St. John are without land-line phone service. The phones went out early Tuesday and were still out late Tuesday afternoon.
"We're actively working to repair it," Innovative Communications Corp. spokeswoman Janette Millin Young said. ICC is the parent company to Vitelco.
She said Innovative suspects vandals set fire to phone company equipment – a 600-pair cable — located on Centerline Road near Guy Benjamin School.
"We have dispatched crews from St. Thomas to assist in the prompt restoration of service on St. John," Vitelco President and CEO David Sharp said in a news release issued after the Source called the phone company.
He said the phone company will keep the public informed of the repair's progress.
Millin Young said the matter was turned over to the V.I. Police Department for investigation.
Karen Baranowski, owner of Windspree Vacation Homes, said her phone service was out when she got to her Coral Bay office around 7 a.m.
She said she and her staff were relying on cell phones to keep the business open. Baranowski said her regular phone line has voice mail, so she calls up periodically to check for messages.
"But I don't know how many people didn't leave a message," she said, adding that those people may have intended to book a vacation villa.
While the outage caused inconveniences, Baranowski said with no phones ringing, she accomplished a lot.
"But if I didn't have a cell phone, I'd be pretty out of luck," she said.
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