Phone company apologises for Internet breakdown
'Similar failure is not likely to recur'

Stabroek News
January 9, 2000

The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) has apologised for the breakdown on Friday which interrupted internet access from 9.30 am to 6.50 pm and reassured users that a "similar failure is not likely to occur."

In a press release yesterday, GT&T offered a "sincere" apology to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and users "for the inconvenience which would have been caused ... following a breakdown in the system" and explained that the problem had been caused by a hardware fault.

Routine checks situated the failure on GT&T's ASN router which connects ISPs and Corporate leased line Internet traffic to the network. The company reassured customers that the system "is being carefully monitored" and considered "the failure to be a one-off occurrence."

The effects of the outage were felt across the board. A spokesperson for one of Guyana's leading ISPs, GuyanaNet, told Stabroek News yesterday that it was inundated with complaints and demands for compensation from customers throughout the day.

The spokesperson explained that GuyanaNet is usually in a position to pre-warn customers by email of any system failure. This was not possible on Friday.

Manager of Solutions 2000, another of Guyana's major ISPs, John Melville, reiterated the inconvenience caused by the disruption and reported "many calls" of complaint. The main difficulty, he said, was the dearth of information provided by GT&T throughout the day which meant that Solutions 2000 was unable to inform its customers as to what the problem was and how long it would be before services were restored. According to GT&T's press release, ISPs will be compensated by GT&T for the loss of service during the failure. GT&T added that ISPs were promptly notified of the shutdown and contact was maintained with these ISPs throughout the day on the status of the failure.

This is the first major local failure of GT&T's Internet system in five years of operations, the press statement explained adding that previous outages were due to international faults.

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