By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) yesterday expressed concern it will suffer increased copper theft in Hurricane Irma's aftermath, adding that this brings "significant" cost.
Andre Foster, the company's chief operating officer, speaking about Hurricane Irma's impact to its network and BTC's restoration efforts, said copper theft was a "chief concern" following storms.
"One of the things our technicians say is that they find copper theft being a chief concern, especially during a time like this," he said.
"We are certainly hoping that some of those things don't happen because obviously it affects our ability to offer services. These guys are pretty sophisticated and very co-ordinated in their efforts."
Mr Foster added: "This is something we see not only here but in the Caribbean, where Cable and Wireless (CWC) operates. When they take down a few kilometres of copper, which they can do in a short timeframe, by the time we mobilise and asses the damage we could have subscribers impacted for up to two to three days.
"That impacts customer service and our ability to collect revenue. When you think about the community and services being impacted, it does put people at peril. The good thing is we are pretty well covered with mobile services, so as long as persons have a mobile phone at their finger tips they have some ability to communicate."
Mr Foster said yesterday that roughly 15 per cent of its mobile and fixed-line network was affected by Hurricane Irma, adding that the infrastructure had held up "fairly well" during the storm.