“It is inexcusable that our internet and phone services have been less than desirable,” Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool said as he announced that he is putting the feet of the telecommunications service providers to the fire by demanding that they offer better internet speed in 2017.
While speaking in the House of Assembly on 13 October Hon. Vanterpool noted that the providers were awarded spectrum by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) and are therefore now in a better position to finally offer better broadband to the public by early 2017.
The Minister who stressed that he is unhappy with the present offering announced: “It is no secret that I am very unhappy that we are not yet at the stage where we already have access to quality, high speed internet and at affordable rates,” the Minister said as he explained that he will have a keen interest in the roll-out process.
Hon. Vanterpool added: “As Minister for Communications and Works, I want to put the providers on notice that I will be closely watching as well. Madam Speaker, I will be monitoring closely, not only for the roll out to take place as scheduled, but to ensure that this superfast broadband and LTE service will be reliable and indeed be of a high quality.”
Many BVI users of telecommunications have been displeased by the performance of telecoms. For one, Flow phone operator service is non-existent, cases of people remaining without phone service for months have been reported to the media time and again, the internet e-mail virtually comes to a halt during weekends. BVI Cable Tv “Off the Air” channels are a common occurrence; cell-phones are polluted by unsolicited day-after-day Flow messages and publicity, despite politicians promises the monopoly of Cable & Wireless in the BVI has been hardly scratched, and the list goes on: “Promises promises and rates going up all the time for poor service: it was better when it was worse,” one commentator said.