Ads by Google Ads by Google

Senate president questions why ASTCA not providing TBAS internet

Sen. Togiola Tulafono
This after last Friday’s disruption of Bluesky’s internet service

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Territorial Bank of American Samoa experienced an unexpected connectivity issue on Friday, March 17, 2023 that caused a delay in the opening of both their Centennial and Tafuna locations.

The connectivity disruption affected the bank’s internal systems, including their ATMs.

During the Fono session on Monday, Senate President Tuaolo M. Fruean asked Sen. Togiola Tulafono, who is also the president of the bank’s board of directors, about the incident. 

 “Senator Togiola, no transactions were conducted on Friday at the Territorial Bank of American Samoa. Is there a backup system or another backup service provider for the bank or is Bluesky the only company providing internet for the bank?”

In reply Sen. Togiola, said, “If the internet system is down, no work can unfortunately be done to fix the connectivity issue that the bank is experiencing, and if Bluesky is having internet issues, the bank unfortunately cannot use ASTCA’s systems due to a contract that the Territorial Bank of American Samoa has with the telecommunications company. Since Bluesky is their primary service provider, nothing else can be done since they depend on Bluesky to provide a secure line to conduct bank transactions,” the Sua Senator said.

 “Is there a reason why we are depending on Bluesky for internet service, and not employing ASTCA, our government owned telecommunications authority?” asked the Senate President in order to provide a solution to this particular issue that the bank went through.

 “When I was elected as the new chairman of the board, I was notified that the Territorial Bank of American Samoa had already arranged a legal contract with Bluesky, which is the reason Bluesky is their primary internet service provider and not ASTCA. Until the contract expires, only then can we operate the bank using ASTCA as the primary internet service provider,” Togiola explained.

Tuaolo also stated, “ASTCA should be the priority company providing service to the local bank, especially due to the fact that Bluesky is now owned by the Amalgamated Telecom Holdings of Fiji company.” 

Tuaolo also asked whether the “funds of the people were secured,” to which the Chairman of the TBAS board replied, “The funds of the people of American Samoa are secured and in good hands.”