BVI News

‘Authorities’ told us not to rebuild yet, says Cable TV

By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff

Several ‘road bumps’ are said to be major factors delaying the progress of residents receiving traditional cable television, since the 2017 hurricanes damaged most of the territory’s infrastructure.

That is according to Jamalie Thomas, the Retail Sales Manager at Caribbean Cellular Telephone Limited (CCT), which acquired BVI Cable Limited shortly before last year’s disasters.

Thomas told BVI News yesterday (May 16) that while it is likely the full network would not have been restored by now, members of the public would have been closer to getting the service, had it not been for external restrictions.

“We are still in the process of trying to rebuild. We did have a projected date in mind. However, there are a lot of road bumps that has since changed that projected date,” he told BVI News.

Thomas did not specify the said ‘projected date’.

“A lot of negotiations and agreements [have been] put in place after Hurricane Irma that wasn’t in place before and, in the meantime, we are being asked not to rebuild our network,” he said.

“But we have the equipment here on the island and we are ready to rebuild the network, and as soon as we get approval and authorization, we will”.

He said his company is effectively waiting on for the ‘go-ahead’ from government authorities.

The gov’t is not blocking CCT

But Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Communication and Works, Anthony McMaster said government is not blocking or delaying Cable TV’s redevelopment.

“They do have permission to start building their infrastructure and accessing [BVIEC] poles. To my knowledge and what I am aware of, there is nothing that prohibits any of the utility companies from moving forward,” the PS said.

McMaster said all utility companies such as the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) and BVI Cable had a ‘pole sharing agreement’ which would allow either company to utilize poles belonging to the other in an effort to bring service to the public.

He told BVI News he is not aware of any changes to that agreement.

McMaster said since the hurricanes damaged or destroyed nearly 100 percent of the poles in the territory, the BVIEC singlehandedly re-erected the poles.

“I guess that is as a result of the necessity to get the power back up throughout the territory,” the PS explained.

“Based on my knowledge, the companies are now negotiating the pole sharing agreement,” he added.

The PS said, in the aforementioned agreement, the government’s interference is limited. He said the negotiations are strictly between the BVIEC and Cable TV.

“But we are keeping an eye on it to ensure that all the companies have access and they are able to rebuild the infrastructure to ensure that the public is served,” said the Permanent Secretary, whose department has responsibility for the BVIEC.

BVIEC tight-lipped

When Deputy General Manager of BVIEC Henry Creque was questioned on the subject, he confirmed the agreement is being discussed between the relevant parties.

However, he said: “We are unfortunately not in a position to discuss the matter publicly at this time.”

Back in October 2017, Cable TV announced their temporary closure and said they would begin rebuilding the cable network once the electricity infrastructure is in place.

Since then, most laid-off employees at the cable company landed jobs at CCT.

While CCT’s Retail Sales Manager, Thomas, did not provide the number of persons who were successfully transferred, he said those who are no longer with the company have received severance pay.

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  1. Reality says:

    oh dear if this — is overseeing things it’ll never happen….think West End ferry terminal and the Road Town one has only just been repaired after 8 months! he never seems to know what is going on, what the cost is, what the programme is, who is supposed to be doing what – what I’d like to know is what is his job description ? is it to be responsible for “make vague press statements that say that things are happening but denying any responsibility or knowledge about what is actually happening but don’t worry the government is sorting it I think, well maybe, actually who knows”

  2. Puzzled says:

    so according to CCT the Authorities apparently said wait before we give you the go ahead and yet the Authorities say they have had permission to start! clear as mud… – no wonder the whole Island is in the mess it is when people can’t even communicate with each other and sort out misunderstandings!

  3. ? says:

    I have boxes selling for 160. with a lot of channels it works with internet and the programs are for life if any persons are interesting just let me know.

  4. hMMMM Anegada says:

    Take your wires up at least. This is ridiculous.

  5. My 2 cents says:

    Please please please CCT and whoever else is involved, restore cable ASAP. It’s necessary. Cable relieves stress, boredom and a whole lot more.

  6. expat says:

    why gov don’t allow a sat dish company to supply cable at least. our gov is letting us down. on this internet and cable business.

  7. Windy says:

    I’m asking for monies from BVI cable/CCT for a new mirror and antenna ripped off my car just the other day from hanging tv cable !!!!!!

  8. yolo says:

    dish network simple no line no head ach

  9. But Wait... says:

    “BVIEC singlehandedly re-erected the poles” – This is not true. BVIEC is not the only one single-handedly putting back up utility poles. Get your facts straight good Sir.

  10. Need tv! says:

    I heard the same has happened to FLOW and they cant build back their internet.

  11. Ting to Talk says:

    Well, well, well. So two telecom providers can’t do nutten. Only Digicel seems making all the moves. Guess we know who is in bed with Government.

  12. Mmhmm says:

    BVI Investment Club members bought out CCT from Guana/Norman owner. CCT owns BVI Cable TV and FLOW has now offered tv channels (150) along with their super slow and intermittent broadband. MCW again shows its ineptitude in this critical sector all the while the world turns and we suffer the fate bestowed upon us by NDP.

  13. Wires all over says:

    The TRC needs to start fining companies who have made no attempt to clean up wires all over de shop. June will come too soon

  14. menace says:

    M—————– in my opinion doesn’t know what the name of creation is going. He passes the buck when he doesn’t want to deal with something especially if he doesn’t like you. but will leave that one right there.

  15. No name says:

    The gov’t is not blocking CCT

    Yea right!!!!

  16. Trust me says:

    Come to v.g please and clean the streets.Both cable t.v/flow the place is strewn with cables all over the @@$/%%place.Waiting for a accident to happen huh.

  17. Hmmm says:

    Watch on Internet for free why pay for tv?.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      Free internet? Internet in the BVI is the about the most expensive and slowest in the world.

      Government, listen, we want 50/50

      50 mbps for $50 a month

      Other Cable and Wireless territories have that because the government made them provide it. Why can’t we have it?

  18. Fluff ball says:

    S#!t, I am about to get something from a friend in the US called the fire stick. All you have to do is have internet plug in the fire stick in the cable hook up on your TV and walla.

    • Tiara says:

      @Fluff ball. The fire stick is good,but you need fast internet to use it and somebody has to install Kodi on it first.

  19. Wow Wow says:

    @MMhmm, I have held shares in the investment club for inception, I have never seen or heard of the owner of the places you called being owners of the club. the club started with Dr. ——— and a couple of other locals and locals were offered shares and bought. So you go get your facts together before you come on here talking S*%$.

    • Mmhmm says:

      @wow wow – little do you know then!! That is fact and not fiction. Maybe it is the class shares you have does not allow you access to key information. It is amazing that you are so limited in knowing your investment had the same gentleman as a major shareholder. Shocked now are you at that revelation!! Put back in your dentures now and keep calm – Dr. J. Has better investments in the pipeline (multi-million dollar villas on Norman). You and your other shareholders did not reinvest in CCT infrastructures; that’s why Digicel came in and took away market share. Ponder that for a moment if you have the fortitude to do so.

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