Categorized | National News

BTC Blackout

Officials from the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) told the Journal on Sunday that they will compensate customers for the disruption in service to landline, mobile and Internet devices that lasted all day Saturday throughout the country.

BTC officials however, have not released the details of that compensation package and said the information will be made public “in the coming days.”

BTC Vice President of Marketing and Sales Marlon Johnson explained what happened on Saturday.

“Beginning early Saturday morning there were some issues on our platform that impacted the vast majority of our services,” he said.

“Right now our focus is getting to the bottom of what happened and finding out what exactly caused the disruption. Once we find the cause, then we will focus on compensation.”

Sources told the Journal on Sunday that the disruption was caused by “an act of sabotage” however BTC Senior Manager of Public Relations Jerome Sawyer did not confirm that was the case.

“We need to monitor the system to make sure that we aren’t missing anything,” Mr. Sawyer said.

“In the hours after something like this you want to make sure there are no relapses or new issues so those have been the key priorities for us. There has been some discussion of what we will do. Once we get into the work week we will discuss ancillary issues. We just want to make sure the system is up and running and people can carry on as usual.”

Up to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, prepaid mobile had not been fully restored.

Postpaid mobile services became fully operational after 8:00 p.m. Saturday.

“Customers may have to restart their mobile devices to connect to the network,” a company statement read early Saturday afternoon.

“Mobile customers may face congestion in some areas of the country as the network comes online fully. Internet services and landline services are functional throughout most the islands. The inter-island connectivity for the following islands – which was inoperable – will be coming back fully within the next hour: Cat Island, Exuma, Abaco, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Berry Islands and Bimini. Mayaguana, Crooked Island, Acklins and Long Cay can expect full landline restoration by 7:00 p.m.”

Mr. Johnson said BTC officials have been working on making their systems more resilient.

“When something goes down we do have multiple options,” he said.

“It’s been a work in progress to get to where we are because some of our architecture is 30 to 40 years old but as we go through it we have minimised disruptions but they do still happen. Unfortunately networks do go down and have glitches but we want to try and make them as rare as possible.”

On Friday, BTC CEO Geoff Houston, who was addressing Rotarians at the East Club of Nassau meeting, said that the company has spent over $150 million in upgrades to the company since Cable and Wireless took over three years ago.

“I can confidently see us spending another $50 million in the next 12 months on capital investments to drive up more the quality and speed that our customers want,” he said at the time.

“We are at the end of year three and beginning year four I can say that we are still a work in progress at BTC. I feel we have ourselves in a better position and I can also confidently say that we will spend another $15 to $20 million adding more capacity to the mobile phone network just to keep up with the demand.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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