Posted November 06, 2019 09:19:18 South Central Telecom is the latest telecom company to suffer from a nationwide blackout as the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) begins hearings in the US against the telecommunications giant.
South Central Telecommunications (SCTC) was one of the earliest to fall victim to a blackout after a faulty switch failed on November 2, 2018, shutting down its network for 24 hours.
The outage prompted many to call for the Federal Communications Authority to investigate the cause of the outage, which was later traced back to a faulty power supply.
SCTC, which provides services to businesses and schools in the South West region, had about 1,200 employees when it was first formed in 2006.
The company had a turnover of $3.8 million in 2018, according to its annual report.
SCTEC CEO John Gifford said on Monday that he hoped that the FCC hearings would determine whether or not the company is entitled to compensation.
“We are not trying to get the company to give us money,” Mr Giffords said.
“It’s a matter of the truthfulness of what they said about the switch and the reason why it failed, and then we have to get that into a hearing where we have the opportunity to get a fair assessment.”
The company was one the first in the country to suffer a blackout in 2018 when the same switch failed.
The regulator said that a faulty control circuit caused the failure.
SCTSC had a long history of making financial decisions on the basis of profit rather than the best interests of its customers.
It is one of four telecommunications companies that have suffered from blackouts in the past few months.
In November, SCTC announced that it had agreed to pay $250,000 to customers affected by the blackout.
A similar $50,000 payment was made to customers of South Central Telephone and Telegraph Co (SCATTC) earlier this year.
SCATTC had about 900 employees when SCTC was formed in 2004, but by 2015 it had lost $4.7 million in the previous year.
It has since made more than $7 million profit in the last four years.
“In 2017, SCATTTC had more than 1,000 employees and was the second largest provider in the region, but the company’s annual report said the number had dwindled to about 800 employees by 2019,” The Hill newspaper reported.
SCATS chief executive Tim Smeets said in a statement on Monday, “We expect that we will be awarded compensation by the FCC for the loss we suffered.”
SCATS said it has paid more than a million dollars in customer bills and has made about $4 million in profit in its five years.
SCATT, which is owned by South Central Telecommunication, said in its annual results that its revenues increased by about $1 million in 2017 and $2 million in 2019, compared to 2016 and 2017.
The FCC is expected to announce its findings into SCATTS and SCATT’s failure next month.
SCCTC’s board of directors has already met with regulators to discuss its future, and the company said that the board had agreed that the company would pay $150,000 in cash to customers who lost power.
“Our board has determined that this is an appropriate settlement of the company and is expected at the appropriate time,” SCTC’s Mr Gaffords said on Sunday.
“There is no reason why we should not be able to pay out a fair amount of money, which we have been unable to.”
SCTC said it had already paid out about $200,000 of the $150.000 payment and that it was working on a $100,000 payout for customers.
Mr Gffords said that SCATTYC’s failure had not affected SCATTE’s performance in 2018.
SCATE said it was looking at how it could get out of the shutdown, but that it would not take any action until it had had the opportunity for the hearing.