Digicel’s network has been encountering problems since midday yesterday and according to the company’s Public Relations Officer Shonnet Moore technicians are working around the clock to rectify the situation.

Moore told Stabroek News this afternoon that the process of restoring the service fully is a gradual one and she could not say how long this will take.

She confirmed that Digicel customers cannot receive top up (credit), check their balances or access the internet. She said seeing that top up is the biggest issue as many customers are unable to make calls because of the lack of credit, all customers will be given $300 free credit in the meantime.

This newspaper has been reliably informed that the problem was created when lightning struck one of Digicel’s out-of-town sites.

Several customers during today expressed concern over the current situation pointing out that not much information is being released to them. One BlackBerry (BB) customer said she first became aware that there was a problem when she attempted to use the internet around 4 yesterday afternoon. Subsequent efforts to check the credit balance, were met with a message saying “service timeout”.

Later, the BB customer said, she received this message: “Dear Valued customer, we apologise for the technical issues currently affecting some services. We are working to rectify the situation and (to) restore all services”. This message was again sent out to BB customers and some regular customers around 1 pm today.

Earlier this month, BB service was disrupted. On that occasion the problem was a worldwide one. Each local BB customer was later credited the equivalent of one day’s subscription.