The Bahamas Telecommunication Company (BTC) has been given 14 days to submit preventative maintenance records to the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA), which has just completed its initial review of its investigation into the company’s recent network outage.
At this stage of the investigation, URCA is requesting additional information from BTC and has also submitted a series of interrogatories which will allow the regulator to address critical information gaps and provide clarification on key issues.
Among other things, the communications provider has been asked to provide preventative maintenance records for the period of 2009 to 2012 for specified facilities and emergency response services.
Additionally, URCA has asked the company to provide alarm and fault records for various power systems and equipment.
Interrogatories, URCA explained, also address issues of backup power generation capacity, personnel assignments and procedural practices, electrical system designs and testing and a range of other related concerns.
URCA said the outage report, submitted by BTC on July 17, preliminarily points to system failures associated with BTC’s emergency backup power supply for its technical complex, following the loss of commercial power on the stated dates.
BTC is also conducting an ongoing internal investigation over what officials believe was actually sabotage of its network.
BTC now has until August 30 to present the additional documentation URCA is requesting, meaning that as of today BTC has less than two weeks to compile the necessary data to remain in compliance.
To date, URCA said it is satisfied that BTC has been open and compliant in this investigation process.
Once the supplementary report is received and URCA completes its review, officials said a detailed statement of the regulator’s findings will be made available to the public, including any appropriate regulatory measures that may be provided for by the Communications Act and conditions of the operator’s licence.
The June 18 system failure that had left businesses, the government and private customers without landline, cell or data services happened the same day Prime Minister Perry Christie met with BTC majority shareholder Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) CEO Tony Rice.
The massive system failure was triggered by a power cut at its Poinciana Drive facility, which serves as the company’s main operations hub, officials said.
BTC executives said they are leaving no stone unturned in investigating the cause of the failure of its back-up operating systems that should have kicked in following the power cut.