PHILIPSBURG–Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten (BTP) – the regulatory authority for St. Maarten – had no choice but to order the halt of TelEm’s scheduled emergency shutdown, set for Tuesday evening for a period of four hours.
In a press release to the media on Tuesday, BTP said on October 29, the management of TelEm group duly informed the general public of its intent to carry out an “Emergency Shutdown” of its telecommunication services that was scheduled to take place from 11:00pm until Wednesday 3:00am.
“Considering the fact that TelEm did not adhere to proper reporting procedures, the message was communicated to the public on a very short notice, and the fact that several Emergency Services – such as the police, ambulance and fire department – would be affected, Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten (BTP) had no other choice than to put an immediate halt to the intended shutdown.
The decision to halt the shutdown was also explained during an emergency meeting that took place on Tuesday morning, whereby TelEm was heard by BTP Director and supporting staff. In an effort to ensure that customer connectivity is minimally affected, and that public safety is safeguarded, TelEm Group has agreed to delay the maintenance window until later this week. TelEm has been instructed by BTP to ensure that the critical services will have no interruptions, and in the event that operations are affected, alternative connectivity is ensured.
Director of BTP Antony Carty said, “While we have full understanding that network upgrades in our industry are necessary to improve services, we must never forget the importance of the availability of emergency services on our Island, especially since we are in the Atlantic Hurricane Season, with one active storm reported. During important upgrades, operators must have a plan in place to ensure that the critical services are available at all times, and we cannot settle for less.”
BTP announced that scheduled maintenance on the TelEm network is postponed until further notice, and the operator agreed that it will notify the general public accordingly of the new dates.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/82138-btp-halts-telem-s-emergency-shutdown-2