Telecommunications operator Flow has identified the cause of Tuesday’s 10-hour “degradation of service” as a “fibre cut” in Miami.
The company “became aware that calls between Flow and other licensed operators were failing” at about 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, FLOW Head of Marketing Julie Hutton said via email in response to questions from the Cayman Compass late last week. “Furthermore, some fixed-to-fixed and fixed/mobile-to-international call destinations were failing as well.
“The issue was due to a fibre cut in Miami which had a knock-on effect in the fixed switching platform in Cayman, which started to show unusual and unexpected behaviour,” Hutton said.
“Traffic was automatically re-routed as expected, but there was severe congestion on the re-routed links which caused the service degradation.”
The fiber was repaired in Miami, she wrote, and the fixed switching platform was rebooted, which restored services at 3:27 p.m.
In the wake of the day-long outage, Cayman’s telecommunications regulator had been critical of the company. Authority Managing Director Alee Fa’amoe strongly criticized Flow for not reporting the outage to the ICTA.
Ms. Hutton, however, said FLOW is only obliged to advise the ICTA when 911 services are affected.
911 services were not affected throughout the day.
Ms. Hutton said FLOW had notified the authority: “[W]e also take steps in these situations to keep the ICTA informed and did so on this occasion,” she said. “Our aim is to adhere to regulatory requirements as part of our commitment to transparency.
“We kept our customers informed of the outage via a recording when calling our Customer Care centre, our social media pages and direct communication to business customers,” she said.
“We were also in constant contact with other operators such as Digicel, Logic and C3 who were informed of the degradation of service and our efforts to restore.
“We continue to work closely with the regulator, and remain committed to do so. We meet weekly with the regulator and other operators to discuss and engineer a resilient telecoms network within the Cayman Islands,” Ms. Hutton said.