Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) Andre Foster said yesterday that the company’s services held up “fairly well” throughout Hurricane Irma, however, significant damage was incurred to its mobile network on Ragged Island.
Speaking with reporters, Foster said a preliminary analysis showed that Hurricane Irma impacted approximately I5 percent of subscriber services. Assessments have already started in an effort to restore services.
“We had a team in Ragged Island yesterday. That facility’s mobile services, we are looking to get up in a fairly reasonable short time frame,” said Foster.
“As an objective, we would like to get up in the next five days; it may be longer than that, depending on when we finally get into it and start turning things on.”
Foster also pointed out that Ragged Island is one of BTC’s smaller networks, providing coverage for 37 customers.
Meanwhile, Interim CEO of BTC Dexter Cartwright said the company is currently evaluating the value of insurance claims for Hurricane Irma.
“Like any prudent company, we have our necessary insurance coverage,” Cartwright explained.
“The insurance would be something after we completed our restoration efforts. So, we are going to restore the network regardless of what gets reimbursed by insurance.”
The COO continued that BTC had also taken a “proactive approach” in getting ready for the storm.
“We made sure all of our fuel cells and generators were topped up. We had our command centers set up well in advance for the storm hitting the islands,” said Foster.
“To date, our network has really held up fairly well throughout the storm.
“The most significant challenge has been…power outages throughout the various islands and settlements.
“We tend to follow them (power companies), as they are restored our services will be restored.”
BTC has also contributed to relief efforts by working with local shelters to provide canned goods, water and clothing to assist those impacted by the storm.