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'BVI Cable TV trying to mislead the public'- BVIEC

- said BVI Cable TV not negotiating in good faith; Accessed BVIEC’s poles without permission, creating safety risks
The BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) has fired back as ‘misleading', public statements by BVI Cable TV that the electricity corporation has been consistently trying to prevent it from rebuilding its cable network infrastructure in the Virgin Islands. Photo: Facebook
According to the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC), following the hurricanes of 2017, the entire pole infrastructure comprising of several thousands of poles within the territory was reinstated at the sole cost of BVIEC. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
According to the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC), following the hurricanes of 2017, the entire pole infrastructure comprising of several thousands of poles within the territory was reinstated at the sole cost of BVIEC. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
General Manager of the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) Mr Leroy A. E. Abraham, left, and CEO of BVI Cable TV Mr Romney Averad Penn. Photo: VINO/Facebook
General Manager of the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) Mr Leroy A. E. Abraham, left, and CEO of BVI Cable TV Mr Romney Averad Penn. Photo: VINO/Facebook
BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) has accused BVI Cable TV of accessing BVIEC’s poles without its permission and that ‘some of their reckless attachments were creating safety risks to both the public and BVIEC’s personnel’. Photo: Facebook
BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) has accused BVI Cable TV of accessing BVIEC’s poles without its permission and that ‘some of their reckless attachments were creating safety risks to both the public and BVIEC’s personnel’. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Following public accusations by BVI Cable TV on August 14, 2019 that the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) has been consistently trying to prevent it from rebuilding its cable network infrastructure in the Virgin Islands, BVIEC has fired back.

According to the electricity company, in a statement today, August 15, 2019, BVI Cable TV is trying to mislead the public by making statements which are “less than truthful”.

It said even though BVIEC is not obligated to respond publicly to BVI Cable TV’s claims, it feels compelled to “educate the public regarding the facts as it pertains to this private commercial matter between the two companies.”

Allegations by BVI Cable TV

Among the accusations levelled by BVI Cable TV was that BVIEC was now charging it exorbitant and discriminatory fees for pole sharing compared to another telecommunications company that was also engaged in pole sharing with BVIEC.

BVI Cable TV, through its CEO Mr Romney Averad Penn, alleged that since the storms of September 2017, BVIEC has consistently tried to prevent BVI Cable TV from attaching to their pole infrastructure “either by outright barring us or by charging exorbitant fees, several times the amount charged to another local telecommunications company.”

Mr Penn also lamented that an Injunction had been successfully sought against BVI Cable TV by BVIEC, which has “effectively halted” its network deployment.

No discrimination on pole sharing fees- BVIEC

But, according to BVIEC, following the hurricanes, the entire pole infrastructure comprising of several thousands of poles within the territory was reinstated at the sole cost of BVIEC.

“Further, during BVIEC’s restoration of the national electricity infrastructure, it was determined that in some instances BVIEC's pole infrastructure became compromised due to the lack of adherence to industry standards by BVI Cable TV and others due to how they attached their equipment to BVIEC’s poles.”

BVIEC said it then saw it fitting in this new post-hurricanes Irma and Maria era to better manage the pole infrastructure it had solely installed through formalised pole attachment agreements in accordance with industry best practices, which would ensure the promotion of safety to both the public and BVIEC’s personnel, and create aesthetically pleasing installations throughout the VI.

According to BVIEC, prior to the hurricanes in 2017, the pole infrastructure in the Virgin Islands belonged to BVIEC 55%, FLOW 35%, and BVI Cable TV 10%. It said since these three entities owned the pole infrastructure, there existed an informal arrangement whereby any of the three could attach to each other’s poles at no cost.

“In 2014, Digicel (BVI) Ltd. executed an Agreement for attachment to BVIEC’s poles since they were the only telecommunications company within the territory that did not plant poles.”

According to BVIEC this new arrangement for pole attachments was accepted by FLOW, which was the entity with the second largest share of the pole infrastructure before the hurricanes, when they executed an agreement for attachment to BVIEC’s poles in July 2018.

“The fact of the matter is that BVIEC offered to BVI Cable TV the same commercial terms which were agreed by FLOW.”

Further, BVIEC said after it became apparent that BVI Cable TV “was not negotiating in good faith”, and had accessed BVIEC’s poles without its permission and “further and more importantly some of their reckless attachments were creating safety risks to both the public and BVIEC’s personnel”, the Board of Directors of BVIEC issued instructions for legal action to be taken against BVI Cable TV.

BVIEC to repay BV Cable TV for poles used after 2017 hurricanes

BVI Cable TV had also stated that immediately after Hurricane Irma, BVI Cable TV gave all its unused pole inventory to BVIEC to facilitate its immediate recovery efforts.

But according to BVIEC, immediately following the hurricanes BVIEC was made to understand that BVI Cable TV laid off its staff “which would suggest that they were out of business.”

It said BVIEC’s management, observing that BVI Cable TV had in its inventory approximately fifteen (15) poles which it had previously purchased from BVIEC, and recognising the limited resources in BVIEC’s possession at the time to rebuild the national electrical infrastructure, made an executive decision to “commandeer” these poles recognising the state of emergency in the territory and for the sake of the greater good of restoring electrical supply to the territory.

“BVIEC wishes to apologise to BVI Cable TV for this action taken and further state that it has always been BVIEC’s intentions to replace these fifteen (15) poles and we will endeavor to do so shortly.”

Court of public opinion!

Meanwhile, BVIEC said for BVI Cable TV to publicly accuse the electricity corporation of obstructing them from rebuilding their network is likened to a squatter accusing a landowner of obstructing the construction of a building on that landowner’s property.

It added that in the “court of public opinion” BVIEC would like to leave the public to be the judge and to formulate its own opinion “based on the facts” which are that the majority of the current pole infrastructure within the territory belongs to BVI Electricity Corporation; “BVIEC has offered to BVI Cable TV the same commercial terms and rates as those accepted by FLOW; The BVIEC Act to which BVI Cable TV alludes in the statement prescribes rates and charges for electricity supply, NOT pole attachments; To BVIEC’s knowledge, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) was established under statute to regulate the activities of telecommunications companies of which BVIEC is NOT; The judgment handed down by the Court on August 9, 2019, after assessing the submissions of both BVIEC and BVI Cable TV ordered an injunction restraining BVI Cable TV from placing any more attachments on BVIEC’s poles.”

BVIEC said it was saddened that the public has been brought into this matter but it would continue to maintain its position in the best interest of the public, the Government of the Virgin Islands and the organisation as a whole.

“BVIEC anxiously looks forward to the day when BVI Cable TV executes an agreement for attachment to BVIEC’s poles at the same commercial terms and rate established with the other telecommunication company who owned a significant portion of the pole infrastructure within the Territory prior to the hurricanes of 2017.”

See link to related article:

http://www.virginislandsnewsonline.com/en/news/bvi-cable-tv-accuses-bviec-of-derailing-restoration-efforts

4 Responses to “'BVI Cable TV trying to mislead the public'- BVIEC”

  • ting to talk (15/08/2019, 21:04) Like (21) Dislike (2) Reply
    Well saw! Look how pressure but pipe. Wow; thing to talk. B.V.I. Cable Tv you ask for this. B.V.I.EC set all you straight. Now just accept the terms like the other providers and get a stepping.
  • asking for a friend (16/08/2019, 00:16) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Can we all just get along where is the new minister in all this?
  • Nenne (16/08/2019, 11:14) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Not even surprised. We all know that CCT always want things their way. They are the reason the cost of internet is so ridiculous in the BVI. Truly sick of them.
  • Seriously? (17/08/2019, 07:50) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hard to believe there is any demand for cable tv.


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