By NEIL HARTNELL
THE Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) yesterday blamed a rival utility for cutting its fibre optic cable and depriving customers in the Eastern Road area of landline, mobile and Internet services.
The carrier, in a statement, said the outage had impacted customers located in the Eastern Road and Johnson Road corridors after another utility - which it did not name - allegedly cut its under- ground fibre cable while conducting trenching work of its own. As a result, BTC is now urging the Utilities Competition and Competition Authority (URCA) to investigate what happened and prevent further such incidents.
The likeliest purported culprits would be the Water & Sewerage Corporation and Cable Bahamas/ Aliv. The former has been digging up the road and con- ducting work in the nearby Fox Hill community, while the BISX-listed communications provider has been rolling-out its own $80m fibre-to-the-home network across New Providence.
However, the Water & Sewerage Corporation is not regulated by URCA. BTC’s call for the regulator to initiate a probe there- fore indicates the provider it is referring to may be Cable Bahamas/Aliv. “BTC apologises to customers for the inconvenience, and is urging the utilities regulator to investigate this matter to fully understand what happened to reduce similar occurrences,” BTC added.
Drexel Woods, BTC’s director of technical opera- tions, said bad weather and “safety concerns” had delayed repairs on Monday but added that customers in the affected areas should have begun to see services restored yesterday.
“We noticed that our services were abruptly interrupted on Sunday and, following investigations, it was determined that our underground fibre was cut by another utility provider that was trenching in the Eastern Road area,” he said.
“Unfortunately, due to the inclement weather and safety concerns for our technicians, we could not complete repairs on Monday. Our teams are still working on repairing the fibre, and we anticipate that customers will begin to be restored today.”