October 27th 2012
Re Major decline in telephone Services
BTC released an announcement this evening stating “BTC customers experienced a decrease in mobile, land-line and internet service disruptions during Hurricane Sandy over previous storms.” “We faced the reality that the power supply during storms can be really unreliable and the upgrades were needed” said Peter Jones, VP of Technical and Engineering Services.
Further, Mr. Jones stated “During Sandy, the BTC cellular network was interrupted only in a few areas. The addition of 21 new fuel cells in New Providence prevented a potential 50% outage in cell service across the island.” He also stated that BTC in the last two years invested $7 Million in Standby Generators and Batteries.
For the record let me state that during my tenure as Minister (2002-2007), BTC invested $353 Million in Capital Expenditure.
While I was Minister responsible for BTC, BTC:
· Had a Transportable Satellite Kit just for restoration of Family Networks
· BTC Built the BDSNI (Bahamas Domestic Submarine cable Network International) a self-healing 10GB network at a cost of $60 Million connecting fourteen islands to replace the manufactured discontinued and exhausted Family Island Microwave network and to mitigate against hurricane outages due to towers, antennae and radios.
· BTC built the GBBSN (Grand Bahama Bimini Submarine cable Network) a 10GB Network at a cost of $6.1 Million.
· BTC employed Fuel Cells at some sites and Backup Batteries at all its Sites with backup times of Eight Hours.
· BTC supplemented these sites with Backup Batteries with Generators during Hurricanes.
To Claim that BTC customers experienced the lowest outage of previous storms (Floyd, Michelle, Francis, Jean, Ike, and Irene) is ludicrous to say the least. These were all Category 2 storms and higher.
In fact Hurricane Floyd was a Category 4 Storm that hit The Bahamas at its peak. Due to the destruction, the World Meteorological Organization retired the name Floyd.
Shortly after Mr. Jones Press Release, Customers in New Providence experienced Cellular outages.