ICTA to tackle network weaknesses

| 17/02/2016 | 0 Comments

CNS Business(CNS Business): The managing director of the telecoms regulator has revealed that his agency will be forming a working group to tackle weaknesses in the local telecommunications network after a lightning strike in Miami on Tuesday had a serious impact on local phones and internet. The major hardware failure that affected the MAYA-1 submarine cable system caused widespread outages on networks here and the Information & Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) has real concerns about the resilience of the local infrastructure.

“The authority is very concerned that a single point of failure could have such far-reaching effects on all telecommunications networks in the Cayman Islands, and all four of our main telecommunications licensees share the same sentiment,” said Alee Fa’amoe, the ICTA Managing Director.

“As a result, the authority will form a technical working group consisting of representatives from the four network providers to jointly develop solutions to improve the resilience of our entire telecommunications infrastructure. Telecommunications is part of our critical national infrastructure, and we must do everything we can to ensure it is as robust and flexible as possible,” he added

It is believed that the network crash, which started affecting call traffic on Tuesday morning (16 February) and was resolved at about 9pm by teams in Miami, was linked to a lightning strike earlier in the day at a facility there. The outage affected telephone and mobile network interconnections. Customers on one network were able to call numbers served by the same provider for the most part but could not connect to numbers with other service providers. So Cable & Wireless customers could not call C3, Logic or Digicel customers and vice versa.

Fa’amoe said the licensees and ICTA were in contact immediately after the incident occurred and he hopes to leverage a spirit of cooperation to find technical solutions to benefit all.

Apart from the inter-network connection issues, the ICTA said some customers could not call 911.

“Access to the Public Safety Communications Centre is critical,” said Fa’amoe. “Calls to 911 should not be impacted by the type of outage experienced on Tuesday evening. We will have to examine that particular failure separately and determine if further action is required.”

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Category: Local Business, Telecommunications

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