June 17th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) Residents in several communities on the north side of Lake Arenal continue without landline telephone service since Friday, May 2nd, and more than six weeks later ICE still has no word on when service will be restored.
The communities affected are located between Tilaran and Nuevo Arenal.
The outage is the result of a massive theft of perhaps kilometers worth of telephone cable, an ICE representative told Inside Costa Rica.
The representative said he was unable to provide an estimate as to when service would be restored.
The outage is especially affecting small businesses in the area, which besides being unable to receive telephone calls, are unable to process customers’ credit cards, as the terminals used require a landline telephone connection.
ICE technicians have provided wireless 3G terminals to some businesses, designed to be connected to their credit card terminals so that they can resume accepting credit cards.
However, the wireless terminals, despite having been delivered at least one week ago, also do not function. Technicians told business owners that they would have to return to program the devices, but have failed to do so, while frustrated business owners continue to be forced to turn away business as a result.
Business owners in the village of Rio Piedres de Tilaran, located on the main route around the lake where many tourists pass each day, told Inside Costa Rica that they along with some residents have collected signatures and filed a petition with ICE, which went ignored.
Other residents have canceled their telephone service and believe that ICE has no intention of resolving the situation.