Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool is not letting up on his push to make the Territory technological competitiveness, and his insists that local telecommunications companies make an effort to offer cheaper internet service.
At a press conference on February 25, the Minister told the media that the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), is carrying out evaluations on the spectrum requests from telecommunication service providers here in the Territory. Hon. Vanterpool also stated that Government wants to give strong support to the TRC in the continuation of their work.
With slow mail or no mail over the weekends and holidays and internet assistance outsourced to distant places there is much for the consumer to complain about, including slow speed even when you subscribe to high speed.
Mr. Vanterpool said that Government will continue to advocate cheaper rates for consumers: “We are putting strict and strong demands on the telecommunication companies to improve the bandwidth and the speed of data and to see how we can get them in a few years’ time to reduce cost to consumers for internet,” the Minister declared.
In May, 2013 Hon. Vanterpool announced that he is not convinced that Territory is on the cutting edge of technology as it should be, and challenged the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission and the various telecommunications service providers to do their part to move the Territory further.
The Minister was speaking at the presentation of the new and improved TRC on May 30 at the Maria’s by the Sea conference room, told the gathering: “This is a year and a half now, since I have been the Minister for Communications, and the time is far spent for some action in this regard. This Government is expecting results from the telecoms sector now, not two or three years from now! Let’s stop the talking, and move!”
Hon. Vanterpool said: “Our Virgin Islands economy must be able to potentially attract world class businesses, and support those already here… No longer should the cost of telephone and internet service be prohibitive, or not affordable, to everyone in the Virgin Islands. Social networks changed the world in the Middle East, Africa and beyond. Virgin Islands consumers have high expectations too. No longer should the business community, residents and visitors, not have the full enjoyment of the World Wide Web at affordable cost. No longer will my Ministry for Communications, and this Government, accept mediocrity in the telecommunications industry!”