In 2015 telecommunications giant LIME intends to launch its subscriber cable television service in the BVI. The service is already available in some of the Caribbean countries where LIME operates and Group CEO, Phil Bentley announced that this would be a great addition to the company’s offerings here in the Territory.
Mr. Bentley made the disclosure during a press conference on 20 August, while he was on a familiarization visit to the Territory. He explained that the introduction would result in job creation and will provide customers with an alternative cable service. This was great news and a return to the early 1980s when Cable & Wireless efficiently operated the cable tv system here. It was also mentioned that jobs will be available in the area of sales and marketing, as the company will require additional staff to get the word out about the product.
As it relates to the competitive edge, Bentley said: “Hopefully early next year we will be launching our LIME TV product here in the BVI. The key to quality TV is the speed of the fiber optic cable that carries the signal which allows customers to pause, to record to playback and all the things that people increasingly demand from their cable TV provider…In terms of our content I think that high definition and set top box functionality are some of the areas that we feel that we can compete with a better product. The fact that it still is over high speed fiber optic cables should give a more reliable service especially if you are in the middle of adverse weather.”
From all indications LIME is ready to roll out its television offering, which was announced to be the final piece in their deluxe offering package: “Why is TV so important to us? It increases the total package – the broadband, fixed –line, TV package, and that’s why we have actually been committed to expanding our TV offers as well,” the CEO stated.
In terms of readiness, the CEO mentioned that the first step would be to import the technology needed to provide the service. In fact, he told reporters: “We have to get the technology on the island that stores the programming that we pull down from the US.”
Unfortunately, there seems to be a dark cloud hovering over the expectant bright skies of having another cable television service provider in the Territory, as it was announced that even LIME will be subjected to the Spanish dilemma that presently plagues lone cable service provider – BVI Cable TV.
However, Mr. Bentley announced that LIME is pushing to get the issue resolved, but he conceded that it will be an uphill battle; nonetheless, the LIME CEO declared that his company is lending its voice: “We are doing the lobbying, absolutely; and the fact is, maybe, the bigger we get withTV maybe the more we will get a breakthrough in that regard,” Mr. Bentley said.
In explaining the issue, and why LIME’s hands are tied, the CEO said: “The fact is the studio broadcasts with interstices which are the bits between the programs; the advertisings that are in Spanish; and across the region that is what they do at the studio. I have written to the studio saying we have got to have English interstices at the moment we haven’t got a break through on that; and what I will tell you is if you see Spanish intervals let’s call them that it’s because we are paying for the content.”
“I can tell you now …that we cannot get content with English intervals unless we pirate it and we are not going to do that. I think there is a whole industry debate to be had about how we get English broadcasting done here. I can’t promise you a break through on that other than we have started to talk with the studios on the way forward. It is not a good experience I agree with you,” he added.
LIME TV Gets Welcome
On the 23 August edition of JTV’s ‘Speak Your Mind’ program Mr. Bentley’s comment was praised as host Sam Henry lashed out at BVI Cable TV for its alleged poor service.
In commending LIME on its announcement, Henry opined that this is great news for Cable TV customers who are reportedly fed-up with their service. He said: “You’re stuck with something that is outside your comprehension, you got to pay for it; and you dealing with people who don’t even appreciate your little $50 or $100 or whatever you paying for cable. LIME congratulations, bring it quick, Cable TV improve or lose it.”
He further lashed out at Cable TV saying: “You know [BVI] Cable TV, I think you doing a good job; we getting things sometimes we don’t want … We getting all kinds a channel; we will have Spanish that we don’t understand; we probably will get a little Portuguese; we will get some French; and we are predominantly a English-speaking country. But we are taking whatever somebody is giving us… If that is the choice we are stuck with fine for now.”
The Talk Show host also stated that the situation is exasperated by alleged poor customer service: “Sometimes you call Customer Service and you get the most …[unsatisfactory]customer service person on the phone. I know all the girls, they are beautiful young ladies, but they are nasty on the phone. If somebody else can make a difference, start tightening up now because you will feel it. All of you in there have a decent job but, when competition comes, it means changes in your job… Customer service is lousy; and I wanted to tell you guys a long time. You know what I do; I just go in and pay the little bill. I avoid the confrontation, because you can’t get any satisfaction.”