Local Business

BTC: Patchy service due to repairs

by: Sharell Lockhart, FN News Reporter

Phone calls flooded the newsroom of the Freeport News yesterday as concerned persons across Grand Bahama complained about disruptions in BTC landline, cellphone and Internet services.

Irate callers claimed that since mid-evening on September 30 they have been unable to make or receive phone calls via their landlines and wanted answers from BTC, as to when the situation would be remedied.

One caller said, "It is a downright disgrace the way BTC operates at times especially when services are interrupted and they do not even attempt to make an announcement on the radio, at least.

" It is ridiculous that your service is severely interrupted for certain periods of time, yet at month's end you are required to pay the full balance of your telephone service bill!" 

Tensions continued to rise throughout the day as more persons notified this daily of interruptions in cellphone services maintaining that calls made are immediately diverted to the voicemail answering service and that BTC prompts are delivered soon after a text communication is sent stating "message not delivered." 

The Freeport News also learned that emergency services telephone numbers, including the Rand Memorial Hospital, Royal Bahamas Police Force and 911/919 have been adversely affected as a result of the interruption and persons attempting to contact those numbers were unable receive a response.

A gentleman calling into the Freeport News said, "This is complete nonsense going on right now, courtesy of BTC.

" You are likely to croak because you cannot use your home phone or cellphone to signal to police officers or the hospital about your condition.

" Something must be done about BTC as it seems every few days something goes wrong with the company's service.

" Didn't BTC just had a write up about their new HomePhonePlus services and how much better the quality of service provided by them is?

" Can someone please tell me what has happened now or have they taken the slogan 'Powered by LIME'  a bit too literally?

" I mean all the lines of communication have been cut off not only the home phone and the cellphone but the Internet too!

"  Mussie need to practice hand writing letters to friends and family now or use can and string to communicate with people now aye?

" BTC needs to do better and have some kind of regard or answer to give to customers for these day by day interruptions." 

Another caller wanted to know would BTC issue credit to customers for disruptions in cellular services regardless as to whether or not they as prepaid or post-paid customers and would other experiencing interruptions in landline and Internet service receive credit for the time their service was out of order saying, â Man please tell me BTC going to do something for us man.

" This service we receiving is too slack man and they quick to shut you down if you have an interruption in paying them you see!

" Man they have to do better than this but I waiting to hear what story they going to come up with for this one, as powered by lime is correct cause I sour still dread."

In regards to the disruption in landline, cellphone and Internet services BTC issued this statement, "BTC has advised that landline, Internet and cellular services are patchy at best in the Northern Bahamas due to the ongoing repairs to badly damaged Bahamas Domestic Submarine Network International Cable, (II/BDSNi).

" A freighter anchored incorrectly at the Freeport Harbour on September 28th damaged the vital telecommunications link however, BTC engineers were able to restore certain service points by routing calls and data on alternative routes within the BTC network.

" Now however, that the heavy-duty repair and replacement work to the underwater cable is in progress, services are intermittent, particularly on Grand Bahama, Abaco Bimini and Andros.

" Additionally, some degradation is being experienced to SMS (text messaging) service in New Providence.

" BTC projects a best case scenario in service resumption by day's-end (October 1st) meanwhile, the company apologizes for the disruption." 

BTC revealed further updates would be issued as they are received from company repair engineers and once again it apologizes for the inconveniences caused.

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