The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) in collaboration with Cable Bahamas is burying some of its systems cables on Abaco in expectation of even worse storms in the future, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Garry Sinclair told Guardian Business, adding that more than 80 percent of BTC’s systems have been restored since Hurricane Dorian devastated the island more than one year ago.
Sinclair said a deal with Cable Bahamas has led to the two companies sharing underground ducting to bury infrastructure to keep it away from damaging storms.
“We continue to bounce back in Abaco,” Sinclair said. “We’re still working on our backup there, and burying that… making that subterranean. Now we’ve got a deal with Cable Bahamas to share ducting there, so we’re both burying our backup fiber there in common duct space.
“Clearly what Dorian made abundantly clear is in some areas, aerial fiber just is not able to withstand the kind of superstorms we’re beginning to see now, increasingly.
“What we have to assume is that the next one will be even worse than the last one. So we have to do subterranean in a bunch of places and there we’re sharing infrastructure with our competition, which I think is a good thing.”
He said mobile service has been fully restored in Marsh Harbour. However, Sinclair explained that the company continues to deal with the eastern end of Grand Bahama, which was also devastated by Dorian. He explained that while it will be too costly to return the kind of infrastructure that was lost to that area, BTC is looking at a robust wireless alternative.
“On the eastern end of the island, the idea there is we’re going to provide a really resilient wireless solution for customers there, rather than building back expensive infrastructure,” Sinclair said.
“We think wireless LTE services there is going to be adequate.”
According to Sinclair, the western side of Grand Bahama is largely back to the services it had before the storm.