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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