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Internet Providers should have no excuse for poor service- Premier Fahie

- says excuse about ‘unfavorable terrain’ is unacceptable given $20M financial ‘gifts’
Calling the telecommunications sector a “technological crisis,” in an earlier statement, Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) blazed local Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) over poor service, even as local ISP received over $20M in financial ‘gifts’ to improve their infrastructure over the year. Photo: VINO
The three main internet providers in the Virgin Islands are Digicel, Flow and CCT Global Communications. Photo: Internet Source
The three main internet providers in the Virgin Islands are Digicel, Flow and CCT Global Communications. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Calling the telecommunications sector a “technological crisis,” in an earlier statement, Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) today, June 3, 2019, blazed local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for poor service, even as local ISPs received over $20M in financial ‘gifts’ to improve their infrastructure over the year.

Citing a media report where ISPs claimed ‘Terrain Challenges’ was a reason for the poor delivery of service, Hon Fahie lashed out at the local telecommunications companies during the Fourth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) when the HoA met at its chambers in Road Town, Tortola.

Unsatisfactory Service – Hon Fahie

“Mr Speaker my first statement is on the internet services in the territory, you may recall recently in a public I highlighted the concerns of the population of the Virgin Islands (VI) that in essence the quality of internet services being received by consumers is unsatisfactory and the prices for these services are felt to be too high

Further the Premier continued, “You will also recall that I gave a commitment to start to work towards finding a middle ground, Mr Speaker, I read a news report in one of the online media channels recently in which the providers have advanced justification for why the quality of service is so low, and the price so high.”

The ISP’s had cited unfavourable terrain as partly responsible for poor internet reception which would result in escalated infrastructural cost.

However, Premier Fahie, in a statement on May 13, 2019, said it is self-evident that a modern communication network is crucial for the development of every economy, including in the Virgin Islands.

“Mr Speaker, although this information is not first hand, I’ve taken note of what has been said in the report until such time as the service providers are able to meet with me and provide me with first-hand data,” he said.

ISPs got Financial Gifts– Hon Fahie

Further, the Premier continued, “I would, however, say that these stated reasons raise certain questions in my mind, and certainly in the mind of ordinary… persons. Because the telecommunications service providers would have known about these technical issues before they applied for the concession to operate, and therefore I cannot believe that this is an after the fact discovery,” he said.

The Premier argued that the Virgin Islands (VI) government, in its aim to liberate the telecommunications sector by competitive industry in the VI that can deliver value for money, developed policies to encourage investments.

“A policy was developed under which the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission was established and mandated to keep the level of prices for services offered by telecommunications providers and the associated quality of these services under review,” he said.

Gov't lost $20M to boost investment 

As such, the Premier said that the industrial levy that should have been collected from the operators to fund the commission was put on hold, with ISPs receiving $20,773,529 in ‘gifts’ from the Commission to improve their services, quality and price.

Further, he said, the sum that would have been payable in the Levy that was active from 2007 to 2020 was $8,621, 531.

The Premier was adamant that the quality of local services in the territory must improve and encourages ISPs to come forward will all challenges faced in the delivery of quality service.

“It is my belief that whatever challenges and obstacles exist in the path of delivering high quality and value for money should be laid on the table,” Premier Fahie said, while noting that through a collaborative approach, the government and the ISPs can map out a solution that is acceptable to all stakeholders.

10 Responses to “Internet Providers should have no excuse for poor service- Premier Fahie”

  • Windy (03/06/2019, 12:16) Like (37) Dislike (0) Reply
    Only excuse is GREED.
  • !!! (03/06/2019, 13:42) Like (33) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank you! Service and price needs to be improved. Paying Digicel $250 per month for slow and poor quality unlimited internet is ridiculous.
  • US (03/06/2019, 13:42) Like (36) Dislike (1) Reply
    The B.V.I Pays the rest of the Caribbean bills when its comes to telecommunications sector
  • student (03/06/2019, 20:01) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just started my MBA online and already I feel like just giving up because I spend at least 2 wasted hours per night because every five minutes I have to be plugging out and plugging in and resetting my modem, then I have to wait until it boots back up. Then a page takes long to load. It is very frustrating. I have to stay up until 3 to get my work done. Still working full time. CCT NEED TO DO BETTER!! WEST!
  • wize up (03/06/2019, 22:07) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have some serious issues with digicel even though my bills are paid on time every time: so many of affiliates have the numbers so I just cant up and change the numbers: drop calls: very poor internet: issues with connecting to other service providers: I personally concluded that the three platforms are not compatible: if you have a digicel phone one might experience issues connecting to a CCT client: the whole system needs to revamp and offer better services & value for money
  • We heard this for the pass 6 years. (04/06/2019, 01:27) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why can’t we just have AT&T etc in the BVI it be better for tourists #1 which more money coming in , because ain’t no way tourists are buy a chip for one day , #2 it be better for the locals #3 we are in 2019 going to 2020.. U.S and China fighting over 5G , look where we are at ? Can’t even get a good 1G
    • wize up (04/06/2019, 20:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ pass 6 years: I am not personally in favour of AT&T because they could be harmful to CCT: something have to give because the level of service in our territory is substandard especially the hen acknowledge the fact we are 2019: I hope this matter will be addressed because business owner have to pay a set of money for DIA connections to get a certain level of service
  • wet (04/06/2019, 05:56) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    VIP is the only party for we the people thank gif for February 25
  • Lord o (04/06/2019, 07:33) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Poor hmm. Poor is an understatement. Sometimes they shut your business down for hours... For one to have a reliable business operations they need to use all 3 suppliers.. Switch to one when one goes down.. None of the 3 is reliable...
  • great (04/06/2019, 08:02) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Premier you are on target

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