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BVI Cable accuses BVIEC of discrimination, forced to suspend redeployment of network

An ongoing dispute between BVI Cable TV and the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) has resulted in the cable company — which has not been operational since the September 2017 hurricanes — having to suspend its network’s redeployment.

BVI Cable said it is unable to resume its operations because the matter against the BVIEC — who it has accused of using “discriminatory” industry practices — is now before the court.

“We have already invested millions and are very close to relaunching our new and improved retail services that will include both broadcast television and high-speed internet. But, an injunction by the court has effectively halted our network deployment,” BVI Cable said in a media statement on Wednesday, Ausust 14.

In explaining the dispute, BVI Cable said, prior to the hurricanes, it and the BVIEC mutually shared utility poles at no cost — a practice that has been described as common in the telecommunications industry.

BVI Cable said the BVIEC has however decided to charge them to use these poles. While noting that it has no issue paying to use these poles, the telecommunications company said the BVIEC is “charging BVI Cable TV a rate far exceeding what another local telecommunications provider is being charged”.

“In the case of pole-sharing, BVIEC is essentially attempting to prescribe different tariffs or methods of charge for the same service in the same area. This is discriminatory, inequitable and ultimately unfair,” BVI Cable TV argued.

The cable company further argued that this contravenes Section 18 of the territory’s Telecommunications Code which expressly states that “every public supplier and public utility must offer to provide and provide access to facilities and utility installations on a non-discriminatory and equitable basis, including with respect to rates, location and other commercial matters”.

Emergency meeting called with Premier

In a bid to resolve the issue, BVI Cable TV said it has requested an emergency meeting with the Premier to implore the government to establish a fixed tariff for pole-sharing.

The company said it also open to seeking intervention from the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission — the overseeing body for telecoms companies in the BVI.

According to Section 27 of the territory’s Telecommunications Act, “where [public suppliers and public utilities] are unable to reach agreement on the rates, terms and conditions for access to any facility or utility installation within a period of thirty days, either or any of them may refer the matter to the Commission and the Commission shall determine such rates, terms and conditions as it considers to be just and reasonable”.

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13 Comments

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  1. No nonsense says:

    Isn’t this the same mother company(CTC)who at the beginning who use to charge us twice for one call. And this same BVI cable, who after the storm still have cable wires hanging over people’s property?? Come move them, we gone Netflix and so on now! We are not being charged for what we aint use in your cable outages!!

    Like 21
    • Amos says:

      genius may have its limitations but stupidity is not thus handicapped

    • Rubber Duck says:

      Don’t worry. In a very few years phone, internet and tv/ movies will come from Satellites. They will be available everywhere and be a lot cheaper than the BVI rip off merchants.

      I look forward to the day when all the telecoms scalpers and scammers on BVI join the ranks of the unemployed.

  2. Yes to that says:

    Netflix is just fine for me. And I am going to see if I can get HULU. I am so done with BVI cable. I also heard about Fire Stick. If you have internet, Fire Stick will work.

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  3. Knowledge says:

    BVI Cable has a good case. You can charge one party a certain price and another party another price for the exact same service/product. Not right. Also, the new owners of BVI Cable made a bad investment. Never saw the advantage of owning a cable company knowing consumers in the BVI are getting the same content online for a fraction of the price.

    Like 5
    Dislike 5
  4. clean up your mess first says:

    you have your cables all over the island with no attempts to clean it up, you own it, you clean it!

    Like 11
    • Agreed says:

      Typical eye sore. The only way I see reliable cable service working in the BVI is the cable wires have to be installed underground.

  5. Devon says:

    They don’t need to install new cables, the old ones are still there after Irma ! We see them everywhere all over the Island.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  6. Smell a Rat says:

    Frankly imagining, it is believed that this is a media driven deceptive form of public innoculation advertising, designed to set the public up for ridiculous, over priced/charging, exorbitant rates and fees come opening and distribution time.

  7. :) says:

    Cable TV need better lawyers. They quoted the telecommunication act about utility sharing but BVIEC is not regulated under TRC.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1

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