Company looking to restore GB service to “acceptable levels” within two weeks.
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) Chief Executive Officer Garfield “Garry” Sinclair said the company will be focused on concluding more tower sharing arrangements with its mobile competitor Aliv in its post-Dorian restoration efforts.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, Sinclair said, “In rebuilding in Abaco and frankly Grand Bahama we want to do a bit more tower sharing. Will we have to build or rebuild as many towers as we had in the case of Abaco mainland for instance? I can categorically say that’s not going to be the case. We are going to be focused on concluding tower sharing deals with our competitor.”
Sinclair said while the company has not yet arrived at a total cost for post-Dorian infrastructure repairs, he acknowledged that “it’s not going to be cheap”.
“We don’t know exactly what that repair bill is going to be, but it is not going to be cheap,” he said. “This catastrophic weather event has taught us a number of lessons and we are going to rebuild and come back stronger. We are not going to cut corners. We are going to come back with a more resilient mobile network.”
Sinclair also said the company is on track to restore mobile services on Grand Bahama to what he called “an acceptable level of network capability” in the next two weeks. He acknowledged however, that Abaco restoration remains challenged.
“We have our national roaming agreement with Aliv so that all mobile customers can use every single tower whether it be our tower or Aliv’s, which would give mobile customers on the affected islands access to maximum connectivity,” the BTC CEO said. “That agreement is going to be in place for the rest of this month and into the future or at least until we get our networks back up running as close to pre-hurricane levels possible.”
He continued, “We are on track to get Grand Bahama back to an acceptable level of network capability certainly within the next two to the weeks. That is what we are focused on. In the meantime, we have this roaming agreement in most of Grand Bahama and Abaco.
Sinclair added that the company is restoring services at a fairly aggressive pace and despite significant challenges on mainland Abaco, the company is working to restore services as quickly as it can.
Sinclair noted that the company has been pursuing a two-track strategy in response to Hurricane Dorian. “We have a definite humanitarian track and the obvious restore and repair of network track. Our primary focus was humanitarian first and ensuring that we could account and secure all of our colleagues. All 100 plus of our colleagues have been accounted for,” said Sinclair.