BTC Responds to URCA findings on BTC 2014 Outage

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BTC BAHAMAS...
STATEMENT:
By Indira Collie, BTC

Following their network outage on March 22nd 2014, The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) proved sensitive to their customers’ frustrations and acted quickly to apologize for service disruption and promptly awarded financial compensation to customers affected.

As the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) launched an investigation, BTC also lost no time on their own investigation to determine the root cause of a system outage that left telecommunications customers impacted.

During the course of BTC’s investigation it was determined that the outage was due solely to a failure in BTCs back-up power system and the problem has since been rectified. BTC’s CEO, Mr. Leon Williams states that “the outage last March was caused by a catastrophic power outage due to back-up power failure. Unfortunately, when the business attempted to take our Poinciana Power Plant off commercial power in favour of back-up power, the back-up batteries which should have carried the load failed.”

In light of this, Power Plant improvement-works were initiated in April 2014 and are 95% completed with an expected end date of March 31st 2015. These updates include new power back-up equipment that result in a higher capacity more efficient full service Power Plant, designed to deliver the requisite ‘fail-safe’ solution in the event of another commercial power outage.

Mr. Williams stated that the substantiation of the improvements in the Power Plant infrastructure is evident in the performance of the system during the commercial power outage on March 13th 2015.

“The most recent BEC island-wide commercial power outage on Friday March 13th resulted in only a short, five minute data outage which we quickly resolved.

During the course of that BEC weekend outage, BTC kept mobile coverage up on approximately 90% of the sites across The Bahamas through a combination of fixed and mobile, site generators, site batteries and fuel cells,” said Mr. Williams.

CEO, Mr. Leon Williams said that the company is sensitive to the needs of its customers which is why it is quick to act and is also diligent about informing its customers, sending out the requisite advisories across their many communication channels.

“We take our brand message seriously and we are completely committed to listening to our customers, and committed to improving every day. We are transparent in that we acknowledge service disruptions and we work quickly to resolve any issues. Essentially, all of us at BTC want the same as the general public as far as reliability and connectivity from our telephone company. Since the incident a year ago we’ve worked with URCA to meet their requirements and have implemented adequate redundancies, resilience and contingencies in our network to effectively remove all major weaknesses and vulnerabilities.”

Mr. Leon Williams continued, saying that they are reviewing the URCA Report for any other ways that BTC can make further improvements to the networks and systems.

“We will continue to work with the Regulator, they have a job to do as we do, and at the end of the day, the customer must come first and everything possible must be done to deliver telecommunications services, and products worthy of our Bahamian people and worthy to carry The Bahamas in its name.”