|URCA presses BTC for report on outage|
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Jun 27, 2012
The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) said yesterday it has given the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) until July 9 to produce a detailed report on a network outage that affected thousands of landline and cellular customers across the country last week Monday.
URCA advised BTC last Friday that it was conducting an investigation into the outage to ensure that the company took all practical measures to prevent it, and took steps to restore the affected networks within the shortest timeframe possible.
The regulator said it has prohibited BTC from destroying or removing any documents or information relating to the incident.
“It is critical that such information remain in place, should URCA’s investigation require further audit and inspection of these particulars,” URCA said in a statement.
BTC suffered a system-wide meltdown, which affected more than 300,000 mobile, landline and broadband customers.
Company officials reported that a power outage knocked out BTC’s network management center on Poinciana Drive, and a full investigation into the blackout has been launched.
BTC CEO Geoff Houston apologized for the blackout last week Monday and noted that it was “not a good day” for BTC.
The black-out occurred while Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) CEO Tony Rice was meeting with Prime Minister Perry Christie.
Christie called the incident the “greatest collapse of communications services” in The Bahamas.
He has pledged to get majority ownership of BTC back in the hands of Bahamians.
URCA said in its statement it is requiring BTC to provide technical details of all points of failure, the impact of each failure on network activity and related services, and the time within which relevant personnel would have responded to these failures.
“The report must also outline the causes for the outage, detailed steps that would have been taken to restore functionality and specifications of preventative systems and other safeguards against such occurrences, including procedural measures and related activity,” the statement said.
URCA CEO Kathleen Riviere-Smith said in the statement once BTC has fulfilled its reporting requirement to URCA on the network outage, the regulator expects an additional four weeks for completion of its investigative review of the matter.