URCA fines BTC over 2014 network outage

30 Mar 2015

Bahamian watchdog the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) has issued the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) a USD1.58 million fine in relation to a network outage in March 2014, finding that the company was in breach of its licence. The blackout ‘resulted in significant interruption and disruption to the landline and mobile services for the majority of its customers across the Bahamas. The outage resulted in loss of service or severe service disruption to customers for periods of up to 15 hours.’ In its Final Determination the regulator found that the fixed line incumbent and wireless monopolist had breached the terms of its operating licence by failing to take all reasonably practicable steps to maintain the functioning of the PSTN and, further, had failed or refused to comply with a previous URCA decision dating back to March 2013 and regarding a network outage in June 2012, in which the watchdog had ordered the operator to take ‘certain remedial and maintenance actions in relation to its networks.’

In addition to the fine, URCA has ordered BTC to: implement redundancies, resiliencies and contingencies in its network to effectively remove all major weaknesses; conduct preventative maintenance on its network and systematically perform testing on certain network elements, submitting to URCA a pre-determined schedule for both measures; submit a report to URCA providing particulars regarding compensation already given to BTC consumers in relation to the March 2014 blackout.

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