BVI News

No compromise! Gov’t will start hammering internet providers 2021

Complaints about the internet and other telecommunication services have been exacerbated in the BVI since the passage of the 2017 hurricanes.

As the new trend of working and studying from home continues to grow, Premier Andrew Fahie has reiterated that as of next year, his government will not be compromising on reliable internet service for paying locals.

“Negotiations with telecommunications service providers are expected to begin in 2021, and your government will be insisting that service providers commit to ensuring quality service and value for money is provided to our residents,” the Premier said in his 2021 budget presentation on November 12.

He continued: “There will be no compromise on this because reliable telecommunications, particularly the internet, is essential for competitiveness in today’s global business environment.”

According to Premier Fahie, the government is committed to strengthening Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure and services in the BVI.

As such, the government will move the Department of Information Technology from the Ministry of Finance to the Premier’s Office, which is already responsible for information, communications, and technology.

Premier Fahie said this change will ensure that ICT development is managed more efficiently.

“This will ensure that technology and communications are well aligned along with the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, the post of Director of Communications, Department of Information and Public Relations, and as we set up an ad hoc Information Commission to improve the Communications and technological structure,” Premier Fahie said.

Earlier in February, the government appointed Vance Lewis and Vincent Wattley as the new respective Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Board. Their job is to end the issue of poor internet service and the associated high bills that have been a long-standing problem in the territory.

Improvement of postal services

In addition to demanding better internet services, Premier Fahie said his government acknowledges the need for improved postal services.

He said the government will seek to undertake the rehabilitation and development of the various postal offices throughout the territory. 

“This includes the restoration and replacement of mailboxes to ensure continued delivery and receipt of mail by providing more resilient structures and to enhance the economic development of the Territory by ensuring the timely access to mail,” Premier Fahie stated.

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  1. Lmao says:

    STRUPPESSS . That’s the first thing that came out of my mouth. After years of theft by the providers and failed promised by the previous and now this gov . I lost hope. ?

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
    • Same old cronies says:

      Vance Lewis might be a good guy but he is also the former boss of Flow. Some unconnected outsiders would be better to control this rapacious monopoly.

    • Albion says:

      People refer to the 2017 hurricanes, but even before that prices were sky-high and service levels were poor. Lack of connectivity has been holding back businesses in the BVI for years, but successive Governments just blow hot air and never actually do anything.

  2. Jay says:

    Hmm. Good Corona. Bad Corona. Every crisis brings with it new opportunities. It took a global pandemic and severe impact on business and finance for the “people” be heard. Let’s be very clear about that. Nevertheless; I can’t help but thank the universe for the crises that have come our way because they helped to rejuvenate systems that were long outdated.

  3. Why start with this in 2021? says:

    We still have 44 days left in 2020…

    Like 17
  4. Scammers says:

    They are all Scammers they will disconnect and overcharge You for a service you are not getting While you are at it address these Landlord overcharging and don’t fix anything for these little Matchboxes that you can’t even turnaround in.

  5. informed says:

    When they took out my landline under the new fibre optic cable we were asked to pay 12K for the new line. Sounds like a great improvement when the existing line was working fine. So now we rely on the poor wifi connection.
    Also the signals from the phones are poor e.g. Wats all people can hear you perfectly but on the actual phone they can not hear you clearly. This needs to be addressed also. Basic communication.

  6. Informed says:

    Thank you Premier Andrew Fahie for addressing this issue. I know Mark Vanterpool said enough is enough years ago but nothing changes. We are 100% behind you on this move.

  7. vip heckler says:

    pure mouth

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  8. Doh says:

    So it’s a consolidation of power. Moving that department to the premiers office. So Dear Leader controls social media, the internet, and its governance.

    Wow. Just wow.

    Another cog in the machine towards socialism and control of the citizenry. Omfg people, wake the eff up. We are steps away from being Venezuela north…

    But carry on

    Like 7
    Dislike 4
  9. Smoke says:

    Once again smoke and mirrors by the Foy. Here’s the plan. Plain and simple. Improve the internet and lower prices. You have 6 months to do it. If it’s not done then the government strips you of your trade license and your gone. Another provider will be happy to take over Flows infrastructure and only have to improve it. Let’s see what the Foy does.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  10. Hmmm says:

    So this move gives the Foy a direct link from his office to the internet companies. Something stinks here and it’s not relatives or rotten fish. I guess it’s easier to strike a behind closed door deal when there are less people watching. How African of the government.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  11. Reply says:

    There is a reason why the internet service is not great in the BVI. The reason lies in the topography of the country..i.e the hills and valleys.

    If one notices, most of the cell towers are on the hills. People using phones cell phones in the valleys, perhaps the larger of the population will not get ideal service as the distance between their phones and the towers is too great. Those living in the hills closer to the towers on the other hand will have better service.

    The internet providers need to do the following imo to improve their service:

    1. Study the geographic areas where people who use cellular services are located.

    2. Transpose that information on a topographical map of the island in question, and

    3. Have more towers placed in the valleys to improve their signals, and

    4. Look for blind spots in their signals
    and place towers in those areas as well.

    If that is done, the overall signals would improve significantly.

    Now, this improvement like everything else in life will comes down to money. Will the providers cough up the money? If they do, will they pass on the cost to consumers? Most definitely.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
    • Laura says:

      I think anything better than what is being offered since donkey year 1 will be fully appreciated. We are not a third world country and even those countries doing better internet wise than the BVI.. it’s shameful!!! How hard can it be to get it right , come on VIP!

      • Reply says:

        Agreed Laura. As I indicated in my post, to fix this wireless problem we are facing will require an investment of capital by these internet providers. Will they do it voluntarily? I don’t have confidence they will.

        IMO every person who has cellular/internet service in the BVI should get a rebate or discount on future service for poor internet service for years. All of us have been paying for substandard service for too long…money that these internet providers have not fully earned.

        Covid has laid bare the weaknesses in their infrastructure/services.

        As for the politicians, they are just yapping mouth pieces and useless. They just say things to make it appears they are doing something, but at the end of the day nothing gets done.

        It’s the same toothless treats to the industry government after government.

        All subscribers should file a class action law suit against these companies. I guarantee they will get their act together faster than their slow internet service.

    • Really says:

      Ever heard of fiber optic cable? Quality internet service is provided by hardwire fiber optic cable. Not cell towers.

      • Reply says:

        Yes. The fiber optics is for the land lines data transmission whereas, the cellular towers is for wireless internet connectivity. Clearly I was more focused on the wireless aspect.

        But you are on point to mention fiber optic cabling as that too needs to be part of the overall infrastructural upgrade to improve land based data exchanges.

        All of these upgrade will clearly need million of dollars.

  12. STFU says:

    Broken record.Every year end the same f**kery from government. Strupes!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hold not thy breath, but prepare to pay more for the same shi***y service or less. Their will be no improvement in telecommunications service s in the BVI unless competition is allowed in or a nationalist government takes over and nationalise that industry.

  14. Strupes says:

    Don’t need no negotiations, start suing their a**es

  15. idea says:

    Government been saying that for the past 4 years.

  16. Watchers says:

    I hope they really fix the net issue here in bvi. I been hearing g that 20 years now and nothing. Just taking the peoples money for no service.

  17. BuzzBvi says:

    Can we get our money back? If you pay $100 for 100% service and get 10% service why are we having to pay more than 10$. Can we get OUR money back?

  18. School Children says:

    are being badly disadvantaged with the poor internet service now that they have to do so many classes online. Some of them are losing interest and their grades are dropping.Meanwhile parents are at their wits end to keep up with bills on reduced or no income. Its a real nightmare for those not on the government nipples as they say.

  19. Elon Musk says:

    Elon Musk is offering a beta version of his satellite internet in the US and Canada for only 99$ per month.

    If it works he will take it global.

    Then we can say bye bye to Slow and the other two worthless companies.

  20. Rubber Duck says:

    Where have we heard this before? We all know that nothing is going to happen.
    Next thing you will hear is that the government wants to ban satellite internet, the thing that is shortly going to put these bandits out of business, and good riddance.
    However fear not because satellite internet , coming soon, is impossible to ban in reality.
    Early pricing is indicating a true 50mbps ( you might get 3 from the rip off artists here ) for $80 a month.

  21. Hmmm says:

    Yawn……….so them say….I have yet to see shareholders hammer their own Companies………..

  22. Heckler says:

    Huffing and puffing a whole lot of hot air. When they realize that the BVI is a difficult because of the layout and terrain they will bubble right back down with the gun talks. Then their cronies will start to tickle them where it hurts back pockets and campaign financing and all this noise will go away.

    Ever wonder why none of the transparency legislation is either passed or enforced?

  23. Shark says:

    Waist of time with that guy L*** many years have he been with cable and wireless waist of time it’s just another pay check for him.the government continues to make the same mistakes hiring these individuals who cannot see past their arms length.we need innovative people in this telecom industry people who are aggressive,and can make a difference.

  24. WEW says:

    We’re never going to see 5G, face it. Over the air cellular to wifi (converter box)is SLOW. Without an island wide (all islands ) backbone of either broadband cable or fiber optic the BVI internet is going NO where.

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