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URCA actively investigating BTC, Aliv service outages

By JADE RUSSELL

Tribune Staff Reporter

jrussell@tribunemedia.net 

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) is actively investigating service outages by the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) and Aliv, and it is hoped the investigation will be completed in the next few months.

Juan McCartney, URCA’s corporate & consumer relations manager, told The Tribune yesterday that URCA is concerned about the environment in which the licensees are providing quality of service for consumers, particularly on the Family Islands.  

“So what we had over the summer months, in particular, were a series of outages in various islands regarding both service providers Aliv and BTC,” he said. “So URCA is currently conducting an investigation into all those outages to better understand what occurred, and what sorts of remedies should be applied.”

Mr McCartney said URCA’s rules for outage reporting and mitigation are out for consultation. He said these rules will assist in more “stringent regulations” on the reporting of outages of the country’s major service providers. Along with mitigating the outages moving forward.  

“So, we've drafted those,” he said. “The licensees, BTC, Aliv, etc, they're reviewing them and they're forwarding their proposals. And we're going to publish our responses to those proposals moving forward.”

There was a large outcry about service disruption and network outages across multiple islands this summer including Grand Bahama, Abaco, South Andros, Mangrove Cay, and Mayaguana.

 McCartney said they haven’t received the same volume of reports of outages in the Family Islands since the summer. He said it appears proactive steps have been taken by service providers to address those outages.  

Asked when the investigation on the outages is expected to be completed, Mr McCartney said he could not say at this time.  

“It's often a lengthy process, but they're working on it actively. I wouldn't expect it would last much longer than another few months,” he added.

On November 15, Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper said the service quality provided by the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) and Aliv is “unacceptable” with their failings “difficult to comprehend”.

Speaking at the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority’s (URCA) digital transformation forum, Mr Cooper blasted both providers over the level and quality of communication services they offer – especially to Family Island residents.

“As far as BTC and ALIV is concerned, we believe that you must find more ways to collaborate within the framework of what is possible within URCA’s guidelines to improve service delivery, most importantly, in the Family Islands,” Mr Cooper said.

Comments

bahamianson 5 months ago

We need a class action lawsuit against Alive and btc. Both are terrible , yet their employees get raises for terrible service. Both are disgusting, but their commercials are pretty. Urinate in my shoe and tell me it is raining. That is Aliv and BTC's motto.

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ThisIsOurs 5 months ago

The most odd thing about BTC is their Facebbok page. They will have outages going on 12-24hrs and their page will read for 24hrs, "we're investigating and we'll update you soon". There wont be a single update posted over the course of the outage. And yes the design for the non informative useless message "is" professionally done. But this is what we do all through the Bahamas, hide substandard behind nice clothes and pretty makeup. It cant change because every election we promote a whole new set of unqualified people to get their vote. Those unqualified people then do everything in their power to get rid of the smartasses. Cant have any one showing them up. So you end up with an executive where the dumb people rise to the top then glory in never haven gotten good grades in school but being in charge. Dr Minnis and Lanisha are perfect examples.

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birdiestrachan 5 months ago

Some land phones have been od for weeks they say the copper wires were stolen so that is that thanks Fnm Papa

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Sickened 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Papa tiefen copper wires? Have you contacted the police?

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birdiestrachan 5 months ago

Some land phones have been od for weeks they say the copper wires were stolen so that is that thanks Fnm Papa

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Porcupine 5 months ago

What BTC and Aliv should be investigated for, is fraud. For many years now we have received horrible service, which I have well documented in writing. Nobody responds or seems to care. Not BTC, not URCA, not any of our public officials. They want us to pay our extremely high bills, yet refuse to provide what they advertise. They want our islands to grow. They want us to do government business online now. How can we do that with the crap internet and phone service they provide? Very sad and criminal. Soon Starlink will be everywhere and these companies will be out of business completely. I am glad of that. Who made the money when BTC was sold? Maybe be like Sherlock Holmes and follow the money. Do the criminals ever pay? Ever?

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Sickened 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I wonder.... has URCA ever heard of a company called BPL or BEC?

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