Cable Bahamas yesterday said it had restored services to almost 100 per cent of its customers on New Providence, Eleuthera, Andros and Bimini by Tuesday afternoon.
The BISX-listed communications provider, which added that 73 per cent of New Providence customers had been restored within 24 hours of Hurricane Sandy’s passing, said a technician had been dispatched to Abaco because a ‘fibre issue’ was impacting eight neighbourhoods there.
Grand Bahama, meanwhile, had seen Cable Bahamas restore service to 97 per cent of the island, although three areas had been affected by a fibre break and several were without electricity.
John Gomez, vice-president of engineering at Cable Bahamas, said: “The company’s emergency response group initiated our emergency plan when the track of Hurricane Sandy approached the south coast of Jamaica on Wednesday morning.
“Our network extends over 500 miles from Inagua in the southeast Bahamas to Grand Bahama in the northwest, so it is vital that we are prepared for any effect that a storm like this can have anywhere in the country.”
Cable Bahamas’ five-stage disaster readiness plan includes preparedness, monitoring, assessment, response and support. “The company has learned extensively from dealing with and responding to the effects of more than a dozen storms since its inception in 1995,” Mr Gomez added.
Cable Bahamas’ head of marketing, David Burrows, added: “Because of our year-round maintenance programme and multi-level backup systems, we were pleased that our core network and services - designed with hurricanes in mind - remained 100 per cent functional throughout the storm. We had no interruption of cable TV, telephone, Internet or data service at our various distribution centres, even while Hurricane Sandy pounded the Bahamas over four days.”
Most of the southern islands that receive broadcast TV channels from Cable Bahamas have reported that almost all transmitters are operational with a few minor channel impairments.
“Cable Bahamas has thousands of electronic devices deployed in the field on New Providence alone, and each one of these had to be assessed for damage from the storm to determine if they were negatively affected,” Mr Gomez explained.
Cable Bahamas said customers did experience outages caused primarily by power interruptions and downed distribution lines that were impacted by falling trees. The gusting winds, which blew rain, salt, sand and debris around, all had an impact on the company’s systems.