Daily Archives: 10/25/2003

Back Up And Online

The phones were out this morning. According to GTA, a large portion of the south was without telephone service today – me included.

Seems like the infrastructure to every public utility on Guam is crumbling. The water system is on the verge of collapse. Every week another village is without water due to broken pipes or pumping stations. The power has been a perennial problem since I moved here over ten years ago. The phone system is just as susceptible to failure. In last week’s power outage, many areas were left without phones because backup generators at telephone switches were broken or missing.

It gets very frustrating, especially when the rates for every utility have gone up this year. None of that money is going into increasing reliability of the system though; the rate increases are for judicial settlements, unfunded retirement allotments for employees and massive debt loads created by previous administrations. The public utilities desperately need to be privatized but I doubt it will ever happen. Too many jobs are at stake and that makes it a political hot potato. Nobody wants to tackle the agency’s problems.