Telecommunications giant FLOW said it dished out millions in free top-up credit to keep its customers in the territory and various other Caribbean Islands connected to the outside world following the hurricanes.
Estimating that the figure amounts to over $3 million, Country General Manager for the BVI, Colin MacDonald, said FLOW has still not taken into account the amount spent to keep the various charging stations and free Wi-Fi access points active and available to the public.
“In the immediate aftermath of the hurricanes, we sprung into disaster relief mode and quickly made our services available to customers so they could get in touch with family and friends. We topped up our customers with credit before and also opened up free Wi-Fi at our stores and other FLOW facilities around the islands to help anyone contact the emergency services and loved ones,” MacDonald said.
“Given the extent of damage experienced throughout the BVI and also considering the fact that several parts of the islands are still without power we recognized that people needed to continue to have access in order to communicate both locally and internationally. The free WiFi was offered to all citizens not just FLOW customers. This proved to be a lifeline to many.”
He added that it was not just the ordinary citizens who benefited from the company’s generosity but businesses as well.
“At this stage, we have not quantified the cost to the business. However, we can say that we have given out over $3 million in top up in the hurricane-affected markets. We’re doing this because this is our home and we’re in this together with the wonderful people of BVI.”
Work on Infrastructure
While giving an update on work being done to restore the company’s infrastructure network, he said effort is being made to ensure the network is even more resilient against future hurricanes.
“FLOW sees this as an opportunity to rebuild to an even higher standard of resiliency and redundancy so that our network can be better equipped to withstand such an onslaught in the future,” he noted.
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