“BCCI chief concerned about communications network”

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President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) Tricia Tannis has expressed concern about the vulnerability of the island’s communication system in natural disasters.

Tannis yesterday highlighted the fact that the island was still dependent on the plans of utility companies and the reliability of the national ICT infrastructure in light of communication difficulties which were evident as Barbados prepared for the passage of Tropical Storm Dorian last week.

She told the Daily Nation the use of satellite phones should be considered.

Speaking outside the BCCI’s second annual Disaster risk Reduction Seminar, Tannis expressed general satisfaction with the execution of disaster plans but identified areas for improvement.

In her address to seminar participants, she pointed to aspects of the national shutdown and the situation with communications.

Tannis said protocols surrounding national shutdown procedures had been “somewhat controversial” among the business community for several years, causing the private sector to question the effectiveness of the execution of the protocols put in place by the Government and disaster management agencies.

“The Chamber, whilst pleased that the timing and activation had been improved in terms of the Government’s shutdown policy and procedures (in relation to Tropical Storm Dorian), is of the view that both Government and the private sector can improve its planning and execution,” the BCCI president said. (GC)