Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) will build a network that will be able to withstand the winds that Grand Bahama and Abaco experienced during Hurricane Dorian, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Garfield “Garry” Sinclair said yesterday, adding that the company is working diligently to get its services restored on Abaco and Grand Bahama.
Sinclair said the company is also continuing to search for ten employees on Abaco and six on Grand Bahama.
Sinclair, who spoke to members of the media at BTC’s headquarters, said the company will not simply rush to rebuild its network on Grand Bahama, but will design a new network that will be able to withstand the winds that can come from a monster Category 5 hurricane.
Sinclair said the equipment that failed during the passage of Dorian was rated for winds of up to 175 miles per hour, but Dorian gusted at times up to 220 miles per hour.
While the company’s assets on those islands are insured, Sinclair said BTC is not waiting on those formalities before investing in getting its network back up. He added that no expense will be spared to get it done.
“We’re not even considering the cost, we’re coming back bigger and better,” he said.
“We’re going to build an even more resilient network. We just came out of those conversations today at our command center and the idea is now we’re not just going to get stuff back up quick, we’re going to design a network post this storm because this storm, as bad as it was, as catastrophic as it was, there’s tons of good learning that we’ve gotten out of it.”
Sinclair said its competitor’s service remained relatively operational in the aftermath of the storm, but he credited BTC’s infrastructure for some of their good fortune.
He also decried the criticism BTC is receiving for its crippled system. He explained that Aliv’s calls are being terminated through their systems, causing their customers to be inconvenienced by the overload on their system as a result of downed systems on Abaco and Grand Bahama.
“The congestion was overwhelming,” said Sinclair.
“Our customers were suffering while our competitor was able to say ‘we’re up and running’ even though we were helping them carry their traffic as well, congesting our routes, so that our customers were suffering.
“We’re taking this massive beating… we’ve done everything in our power to make sure that we make service available to our customers and are working even harder to get service back up where it’s down. We are working hard.”
Sinclair added that while BTC is putting boots on the ground to repair its network, it is also evacuating family members of its staff from the affected islands with planes and helicopters it has chartered.
He added that the company has already sent 55,000 pounds of aid to the affected islands.