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'Irrefutable & shameful; Telecom industry in VI screwed up'- Hon Fraser

- following report by BDRC Continental & Cable.co.uk which shows VI providers charging high price for under-performing internet service
Opposition Member Honourable Julian Fraser RA (R3), who has constantly called for improved internet and telephone/cellphone services among the carriers in the Virgin Islands described the report as irrefutable and embarrassing and should not be tolerated. Photo: VINO/Internet Source
Opposition Leader and Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) believes for the Virgin Islands to remain competitive regionally and internationally, while satisfying customers locally, the internet service being provided must step up its game and Government must also step up to the plate with modern day legislation and regulations. Photo: VINO/File
Opposition Leader and Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) believes for the Virgin Islands to remain competitive regionally and internationally, while satisfying customers locally, the internet service being provided must step up its game and Government must also step up to the plate with modern day legislation and regulations. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Julian Willock, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Advance Marketing and Professional Services, the company that owns Virgin Islands News Online, said if the Virgin Islands wants to maintain its status as a First World country then ‘basic things like internet services, good telephone services, must be critical to our development.’ Photo: Facebook
Mr Julian Willock, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Advance Marketing and Professional Services, the company that owns Virgin Islands News Online, said if the Virgin Islands wants to maintain its status as a First World country then ‘basic things like internet services, good telephone services, must be critical to our development.’ Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- On the heels of a 2017 report that listed the Virgin Islands as having one of the most expensive and “underperforming” internet services worldwide, Opposition Member Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) said the report cannot be refuted and is shameful.

According to a November 21, 2017 press release by Cable.co.uk, a broadband, TV and phone comparator, unique news source and consumer champion, over 3,351 broadband packages were recorded and analysed by BDRC Continental and Cable.co.uk between August 18 and October 12, 2017. It said the study of broadband pricing in 196 countries reveals vast global disparities in the cost of getting online.

Iran offers the world's cheapest broadband, with an average monthly cost of USD 5.37 while Burkina Faso is the most expensive, with an average package price of USD 954.54 per month.

The study found that Saint-Martin offers the cheapest broadband in the Caribbean, with an average package price of USD 20.72 per month, with the [British] Virgin Islands (USD 146.05), Antigua and Barbuda (USD 153.78), Cayman Islands (USD 175.27) and Haiti (224.19) at the most expensive end both regionally and globally.

In North America, Canada offers the cheapest broadband on average (USD 54.92), coming in 21 positions ahead of the United States globally (USD 66.17).

VI fails to achieve average internet speeds above 10Mbps

Meanwhile, in a previous study, the Virgin Islands was among 139 countries that failed to achieve average speeds above 10Mbps, a speed deemed by telecoms watchdog Ofcom to be the minimum required to cope with the needs of a typical family or small business.

The territory was ranked number 77 with an average speed of 5.49 megabits per second (Mbps).

The five fastest countries have download speeds around 40 times faster than the five slowest. Singapore tops the table at 55.13Mbps, compared to Yemen, which is more than 162 times slower at just 0.34Mbps.

This information comes even as residents continue to complain about poor internet service provided by all the carriers in the Virgin Islands. On many occasions legislators have complained bitterly in the House of Assembly about the internet services in the Territory.

Irrefutable & embarrasing

Meanwhile, Opposition Member Honourable Julian Fraser RA (R3), who has constantly called for improved service among the carriers, described the report as irrefutable and embarrassing and should not be tolerated.

“The outcry needed to see immediate action to fix the industry’s service and exorbitant associated costs is not forthcoming because high end customers can and are paying the high costs for faster speeds. Meanwhile, smaller customers who can’t afford the higher rates are stuck with crummy service.”

Hon Fraser further said the telecommunications industry in the VI is “screwed up” and that’s the root cause for what we are experiencing with our internet services.

“Mature minds would say one thing has nothing to do with the other and we ought to move on. But the scars left are vivid reminders of wounds inflicted in order to move from a monopoly with unregulated services and prices to where we are today with a Commission and “quasi” competition!"

Frustrated as everyone else

The former Minister for Communications and Works under the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Administration said nothing reported today by the international press is going to change things we already know.

“What we need is a Government that stops taking every criticism as personal failures, and get on with addressing them. To this day I can’t get Government to see the wisdom in numbers portability. Most times things are done for a reason, and this is no exception. Fixing our internet service is not rocket science, for as reported, St Martin got it right, and they are just
next door!”

Hon Fraser was adamant that the people of the VI know exactly what the problem is, and also what it needs to fix it.

“A few years ago I was privy to a proposal put to Government that would have essential moot this very conversation, but evidently that proposal died! We don’t need another carrier in the BVI, the 4 we have are sufficient. Since those carriers are not meeting the needs of the community, it is now the responsibility of the commission and Government to take the necessary steps.

“Personally I am as frustrated as everyone else, and probably even more so, since I speak repeatedly about it in the House of Assembly, which seems to fall on deaf ears,” Hon Fraser told this news site.

Gov’t must step up to the plate- Opposition Leader

Giving his response to the report, Opposition Leader and Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Hon Andew A. Fahie (R1) said for the VI to remain competitive regionally and internationally, while satisfying customers locally, the internet service being provided must step up its game.

“It must be consistent and meet the needs of businesses and residents in the 21st century and beyond,” Hon Fahie stated, while adding that Government has a leading role to play in the process.

“Government must also step up to the plate with modern day legislation and regulations to ensure all of the aforementioned comes to fruition. There cannot be any further delay in this respect. The success of our economy in every respect depends on efficient and well regulated internet services.”

‘It will get worse before it gets better’- Julian Willock

Among the many who have embraced this harsh reality about the poor but costly internet services in the VI is Mr Julian Willock, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Advance Marketing and Professional Services, the company that owns this news site.

“I agree with the report. It was bad services before hurricanes Irma and Maria and I could only imagine it’s going to get worse before it gets better. If we want to maintain our status as a First World country then basic things like internet services, good telephone services, must be critical to our development,” Mr Willock stated in an invited comment.

Meanwhile, efforts to get a feedback from the local internet providers in the Virgin Islands proved futile.

See link to report by BDRC Continental and Cable.co.uk:

https://www.cable.co.uk/media-centre/release/New-Worldwide-Broadband-Speed-League-Unveiled-UK-Ranks-31

26 Responses to “'Irrefutable & shameful; Telecom industry in VI screwed up'- Hon Fraser”

  • Hmmm (22/11/2017, 19:28) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree with Hon. Fahie 100%
  • well well well (22/11/2017, 19:28) Like (27) Dislike (1) Reply
    I couldn't agree with Fahie more.
  • ... (22/11/2017, 19:30) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    Smh yes services are poorest
  • I Agree with u on this one Fahie (22/11/2017, 19:38) Like (11) Dislike (24) Reply
    Fahie I Think Frazer would make a better leader and the next premier. These times need tough, caring courageous fearless no mek no friend leaders. In my support. I haven't heard one minister attack non of the internet providers for poor, slow and or expensive. Haven't heard any Minister call out Cable TV for their layoffs and for their little or no effort to get Cable back... I haven't heard One Minister call out Rite Way on their unnecessary layoff.....Hence the reason why I've become a believer in Frazer. These thing would never happen under a Frazer administration. Frazer would demand reasons and also public explanation.. I'm leading the Frazer for premier campaign..
    • @I agree with you on this one Fahie (22/11/2017, 21:39) Like (8) Dislike (15) Reply
      As u rightfully say Only Frazer got the balls to address these issues. U mix up fahie and Frazer..
    • facts (23/11/2017, 06:33) Like (30) Dislike (2) Reply
      Fraser is no leader and you know so just stop it.
    • please (23/11/2017, 06:36) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
      Fraser was the Minister of Communications and he did nothing to improve the internet situation. He was Minister of Labor & he did nothing to improve labor. He does one thing well which is seem tough and oppose everything even his own side.
    • @Iamabelieverinfrazer (23/11/2017, 16:04) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
      If the laid off persons are or were Sea Cow Bayians, then we would have some noise from Hon. Frazer. Otherwise, same old, same old stuff, different day.

      Remember what he did when he had power and was in charge of Communications and Works? You bumped into all kinds of pot holes from East to West until you got to the Second District and there you felt like you were driving on glass. He is just another politician who feels he has to take care of his constituents only to stay in power. Forget the rest of us. He just worries about next election. Until you find a politician who isn't worried about next election when he is making decisions, then you don't have a passionate leader of the people. Honourable Skelton is the closest we have to that now and he is on his way out. He would make the best Premier because he is not afraid to make tough decisions and stick by them no matter the naysayers. In other words, he is for country, not self.
  • wize up (22/11/2017, 20:59) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    we the people just back and take it
  • 1949 (22/11/2017, 21:21) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lets march on these telecoms providers
  • FRAZER IS THE REAL DEAL (22/11/2017, 21:42) Like (2) Dislike (11) Reply
    Show them what leadership is Frazer..No borrow no Money, No eat nobody free food. No beg no friend.. obligated only to the suffering people..
  • Nuff nocka bout (22/11/2017, 22:43) Like (2) Dislike (17) Reply
    White nocking us about, black nocking us about. Our leaders quiet and scared..God bless we have a man like Frazer. Fearless...I hear the black man who does sign them white boy and the filipino permits at that big super market had enough of their bull xxsshhii and leave. I wonder who local they going to use to sign their permits now. All they are doing is using locals. The man realize that so he leave...Good move! Good and qualified BVI landers have to stop been fools and stop get use and abuse in their own land. Ler them go back home and get locals. We can handle it...
  • CHAMPION (22/11/2017, 22:45) Like (1) Dislike (12) Reply
    Frazer is the man who will set things straight..
  • one eye (23/11/2017, 00:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now it looks like the opposition working instead of fighting
  • Rite Eay Lay-Offs / Law /options (23/11/2017, 05:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Everyone has an opinion on Rite Way lay-offs. Here is mine..Rite way had many options. They chose an option that was convenient for them.. Layoff of isnt the most econmical way to save to add to that it brought them bad publicity which is not good for business.. This is The option I would have use in- leu of laying offs,, I would have given those good employres 4 days a week. I would also given those laid off employees 3 days a week, this to me is not only a more humain approach but a much more economical (Savings) approach..Taking into consideration everyone has to eat, has to pay bills and knowing that things will get better the teritory will bounce back and when it does the employees will get their full time back...I dont think Labour and our Government intervene early enough and I dont think they had a plan or the knowledge.. So they were left with no choice but to take rite way word. Which intern causes a lot of unnecesarry suffering...There maybe a legal recourse if those employees don't get their jobs back after 3 months and can prove that redundancy was unnecessary, unfair ,and malicious ... (They should seek legal advice ) This is not just related to Rite way but all employees who has been laid off / or made redundant should seek legal advice, the legal service is available in most cases its free or a small free. They should Uterlize it for their own peace of mind..
  • lay off (23/11/2017, 06:51) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why did most business lay off staff? Not because IRMA but because of the looting!
    Why should any business that was destroyed by the community it serves give a flying pig if it has to lay off staff. Believe me it leaves a bitter taste. So the next time you think let me grab some free stuff, remember every action has a reaction!
  • island man (23/11/2017, 07:21) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am calling on FLOW to immediately Hire persons suitable qualify for speedily restoration of their engineering infrastructure.
    I calling on the TRC to observe that FLOW is unable to restore service in West End and other areas of the territory.
    Dominica is in the same situation with FLOW, lack of work force...
  • poor man (23/11/2017, 09:23) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mr. Frazer and or Fahie could you guys address the fact that most of the 3rd district is still without electricity after almost everywhere has electricity. Thats more important to most of us including those that cannot afford a generator. Thanks
  • ??? (23/11/2017, 09:58) Like (1) Dislike (11) Reply
    I think the LIBERATOR is the only man in the VI who can resolve this problem. Let's make him Premier of THESE.....Virgin Islands and see what happens.
  • hurt (23/11/2017, 15:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Indeed very shameful and unfortunate. Consumers are not getting their money's worth. What is even more unfortunate is that trc is not doing enough to address various issues. In other caribbean countries, they have public utilities commission to deal with these kind of problems.
    The problem in the bvi is that the government continue to introduce legislation and no one policing them. apart from labour and immigration any thing goes.
  • Mr. Representative (24/11/2017, 10:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    in this case, the only "modern day legislation and regulations" needed are strict and enforceable consumer protection.

    The greeders, extortionist and money addicts have had free reign for ever. It is time for change.
  • Fearless.. (03/12/2017, 09:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sound like sense to me. Any news or update on Cable TV..


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