The court had to intervene in a pole sharing disagreement between BVI Cable TV and the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC). The issues between the two companies were then brought before the public by BVI Cable TV and in its defense BVIEC followed up with a statement. However, BVI Cable TV CEO, Romney Averad Penn announced that his company did not mean to accuse the BVI Electricity Corporation when it issued its statement last week, and was not pleased with certain aspects of the BVIEC response.
BVI Cable TV in its statement to the media on 13 August announced that BVIEC has insisted on charging them a rate far exceeding what another local telecommunications provider is being charged and that an injunction was issued by the court stopping BVI Cable TV from continuing its network deployment. This led to BVIEC responding stating that Cable TV was misleading.
In fact, in its 15 August statement BVIEC pointed out that it was not obligated to respond publicly to BVI Cable TV’s claims, however, it noted that it felt compelled to educate the public regarding the facts as it pertains to this private commercial matter between the two companies.
The Electricity Corporation said that the new policy was implemented to maintain industry best practices and likened Cable TV to a squatter: “For BVI Cable TV to publicly accuse BVIEC 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,” BVIEC announced.
Cable TV Says: No Accusations Intended
The day following the BVIEC statement Penn made an appearance on 284 Media and explained that BVI Cable TV made the statement as a sort of a last resort to an issue that was going on for more than a year.
“We didn’t’ really want to accuse BVIEC of anything. This is something that has been going on behind the scene. We’ve been trying to negotiate an end to this dispute for probably a year and a half now. Unfortunately, we have to come out to the public and say something, because an injunction was issued by the court which stops us from continuing to attach to poles and continue the building of our network,” he explained.
The Cable TV CEO explained that the stall in the deployment has set his company back: “We worked really hard over the last year and a half, almost two years now to relaunch the BVI Cable TV product. Our team has worked tirelessly on it. We spent millions of dollars countless manhours. The situation as it is right now all of that work has been stopped and we really don’t know how long it’s going to be stopped for because once something goes into the courts it is really hard to say how long it would take. That has had very specific economical and operational realities for us as a company and that is what precipitated us going out to the public to make a public statement,” he stated.
Penn also commented on the fact that BVIEC mentioned aspects of its relationship with other service providers, which Penn said BVI Cable TV was careful to not do. “When we made our statement, we were very careful not to call names. The only entity that we referred to was BVIEC because they had obviously taken us to court, they had applied for an injunction — they got an injunction so it was very specific in terms of what they did that was causing us to have to stop moving forward. We didn’t talk too much about the other providers. When they made a statement, the statement was very troubling to us. They have come out with some specifics but not all,” he announced.