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Damaged CBL fibre identified as the cause of Internet outage

Customers to receive credit for the interruption

Cable Bahamas Ltd (CBL) has confirmed the full restoration of Internet services late Saturday evening, after an interruption of broadband and private fibre services affected customers on New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco, and Eleuthera.

Data services for all Aliv customers were also interrupted on Saturday, as were all international calls for Aliv and REVOICE customers, however, at no time were Aliv phone or REVOICE home or business domestic phone services affected by the interruption the company said.

The company has advised that initial investigations indicate that the cause of the interruption was a cut on its main international and inter-island BICS fibre link in Grand Bahama by a third-party company working in the area.

The company’s network operations team have rerouted the connection between the national and international landing points using redundant network links, allowing them to restore services.

This process took several hours to complete due to the safety procedures built into the network infrastructure that ensure the protection of the company’s network during these kinds of catastrophic situations. The company stated that this was a controlled restoration process designed to avoid any further negative impact on subscribers’ national traffic

CBL Chief Operations Officer John Gomez did not downplay the impact of this incident. “We know how important our REVON broadband Internet service is to our home and business customers,” Mr Gomez said, “and we take any impact on their use and enjoyment of that service very seriously. Our executive, engineering, customer service and network operations teams have all been fully engaged in responding to this situation as quickly and completely as possible.”

Mr Gomez revealed that the company would be issuing a one-day credit for the service interruption to all REVON home and business customers. That credit will be reflected on customer statements for the month of May 2017.

Even though all services have been confirmed restored using the re-route procedure, the company’s investigations into the cause continues. “We have reconnaissance and reporting teams in the field now,” Mr Gomez stated. “They are collecting data so that we can ensure we have the most complete information we need to fully assess the damage and effect all the necessary permanent repairs.”

CBL teams worked closely with the Aliv network operation centre to ensure the fastest restoration possible and to keep customers informed. Extensive customer and media communications measures were implemented, including:

  • Live announcements via major radio stations to inform the public of the situation’s status
  • Text information crawl on Our TV (cable channel 212)
  • Postings on Facebook and the company’s web site
  • Auto-attendant messages on the company’s customer service phone centre; and
  • News interviews with leaders from CBL and Aliv

While Mr Gomez acknowledged the severity of the Internet service interruption, he also recognised the rarity of such an incident. “Cable Bahamas’ local, national and international network has proven itself to be imminently reliable,” the COO advised. “This is the first widespread Internet outage our network has ever experienced. While we are proud of that record, we know that any interruption — even for just a few hours — is very disruptive and upsetting. We do everything we can to prevent it from happening, and respond quickly in these unfortunate times when they do.”

Permanent repairs to the damaged fibre are expected to be completed on Monday, April 3, however no further interruption is expected for its customers. The company has promised further updates as more information becomes available.

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