|BTC customers suffer another round of disruptions|
Royston Jones Jr.
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Jul 12, 2012
Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) officials said a disruption in cell phone service yesterday was caused by a power outage at BTC’s Soldier Road Exchange.
BTC said the power issue, which occurred around 3 p.m., caused a 90-minute disruption in cell service.
Many mobile customers took to Facebook yesterday afternoon to express their frustration with the company.
The network failure was a continuation of a series of disruptions that have affected thousands of customers in recent weeks.
Jerome Sawyer, senior manager of public relations at BTC, said the company was investigating the matter, but yesterday’s outage was not a mass network shutdown. However, he was unable to detail how many customers were affected.
“The networks seem to be back to normal,” Sawyer told The Nassau Guardian shortly before 5 p.m.
“There were certainly some issues earlier on with congestion etc., but they seem to be resolved from all the reports that we are getting thus far.”
Last month, BTC provided its customers with a compensation package valued at close to $3 million, as a result of system-wide meltdown, which affected more than 300,000 mobile, landline and broadband customers on June 18.
That system failure was the result of a power outage, which knocked out BTC’s network management center on Poinciana Drive, BTC officials said.
At the time, Marlon Johnson, vice president of brand and channels, said the company would continue to discuss ways to show appreciation for customers’ patience during technology upgrades the company has engaged in since June.
Sawyer said the upgrades were on schedule and should be completed for the most part by the end of July.
“Across the board customers will experience better voice quality and less dropped calls on the 2G network,” Sawyer said.
“It’s important for us to explain that... primarily we will be directing most of our voice traffic on the 2G and our high speed traffic — Internet services etc. — will be on the 4G platform, which will give you faster speeds in downloading, surfing the net and videos.”
He added that many of the ongoing upgrades will take place without any noticeable disruption in service.
“Anytime we undertake a major upgrade we look at the volume of traffic and try to counter balance it so it doesn’t cause any major disruption,” Sawyer said.
BTC was scheduled to present a report to the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) on Monday explaining what led to the June 18 outage.
BTC has asked for an extension to next Monday and URCA has approved the new date for the report to be turned in.