BVI News

No piggybacking: Residents shouldn’t have to pay for a landline to get internet at home


Opposition legislator Julian Fraser wants provisions to be made in the recently-drafted Consumer Protection legislation to prevent telecommunications companies from forcing customers to purchase landline services in order to get at-home internet.

“It (telecommunications) is a unitary system and no one unit is supposed to piggyback on the other. Landline and internet should be separate and distinct but they charging me for a landline that I don’t even use,” Fraser argued in last week’s sitting of the House of Assembly.

Fraser, who was making his contribution to the debate on the aforementioned legislation, singled out telecommunications giant Flow, who he said has the monopoly for landline services in the British Virgin Islands.

“How do you control that in this Bill? How do you protect the consumer from Flow and [its] landline [policy]?”

“After the hurricane, do you know what happened? The service came back up and I needed the internet. They tell you, ‘you can’t get the internet unless you get landline’. But I don’t need a landline,” Fraser said.

The legislator claimed he proceeded to explain that he only requires one of the two services and was told: “Well, just don’t use it. But you have to pay for it.”

Fraser then called for intervention from the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission — the state-owned organisation that has oversight for internet providers in the territory.

“We got to make adjustments in this thing (the legislation) if it’s not in there,” Fraser stated.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Jane says:

    For once I have to agree with Mr Fraser…

    Like 67
  2. Hodgie says:

    This make sense. They also want to force you to take FLOW TV if you apply for internet service. I don’t watch TV but I use the internet. Please do something about this Robbery. Its fulltime.

    Like 46
    • Yeah Hodgie says:


      Like 21
  3. hmmm says:

    Only when it sting them they know they have to change it.. come on mehn..

    Like 19
    Dislike 3
  4. State of the Mind or Union? says:

    Only nationalization of most businesses in this territory will change the expolitative practices customers face.

    There will be pros and cons on both sides of the debate, but clearly, the current system is exploitative and a one sided relationship.

    The common deminator being excessive profits, are being accumulated through the legal capitalist structures, while the dependents of the services are robbed.

    That is the standard capaitalist model. There are a few ways in which such exploitation could be fought and won and they are: 1) reorientation of the populace minds through education 2), grass roots organization, protest and political reorganization.

    Because, an entity or human without a conscience has no emphaty. Greed serves one master, and the conscience affects neither greed nor empathy to fairly serve the masses.

    What, really, can the honorable Minister achive under those daunting circumstances without organizzation, grass roots education and protes and political reorganistion?

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  5. TurtleDove says:

    Ok….why don’t he just write the bill and present it? Who is he complaining to? At one point did he not run that department….

    Like 5
    Dislike 8
    • :) says:

      Fraser ended the monopoly and allowed another provider which resulted in lower rates and better options due to more competition. Before Fraser did this I was paying 25 cents per text and 75 cents per minute for incoming and outgoing calls even when someone called you by error. At one point every bill was well over $250. It wasn’t a coincident when as soon as Digicel entered the market all of a sudden there were bundled plans and rates and way lower cost for making calls. Before You had no choice but to stick to one provider and swallow whatever they fed you now we playing hopscotch with providers whenever they skip up.

      Like 21
      • TurtleDove says:

        Never said he did nothing good….just saying he is in a place to write the bill to get this change so just do it. Voicing it in an an online news paper is not going to get it done.

        Like 2
        Dislike 5
        • :) says:

          Not wanting to come off as a Fraser defender but first of all he has little power or influence in government since he is in the opposition. Secondly he isn’t even a part of the main opposition party which is NDP. He actually made the comments in the HOA not to BVInews directly.

    • hog city says:

      Fraser is the man…He made cellphone affordable for all…This is what you call representation…That is why he is called “the liberator”

      Like 18
      • @Hog city says:

        All day long, Fraser is the man. That is why I like Fraser, He get things done. Hey Fraser,I want to see you running for Premier in the next 4 years.I’m serious and keeping it real.

        Like 8
        Dislike 1
  6. Anonymous says:

    Only in the bvi

  7. Loud and Clear says:

    Fraser is right although partly to be blamed when he so say he was the liberator.

    Before they got back their land line network they were offering internet via a cell phone sim card.

    Now, they are forcing you to take land line and calling it bundling. To get internet you must have landline, TV and Data (internet). Look I do not need landline, I do not need TV, for god sake take your land line. I only need Data, internet.

    May the good hard working Minister of communications now look into this. Flow, flowing no where is involved in criminal acts of fraud and robbery. Please Mr. Minister and TRC, we need this robbery and fraud to end with immediate effect, meaning now. I need to take back their box, cos I do not have TV and I am hardly at home to use land line. They are charging $100’s for a service that only costs cents.

    Please VIP, Chief, you are doing good so far, please listen to the people’s cry and deliver us from this monster called FLOW. Thank you. May God bless you and bless these Virgin Islands.

    Like 10
    • Cuse says:

      I have no problem with the installation of the fiber, if this is how they choose to deliver their services, but if you advertise broadband for $89.00 don’t tell me I have to pay $100 + because you need me to pay for lanline and basic telephone services when I already have a phone.

  8. Consumer says:

    The TRC is a waste of time!

    Like 20
  9. Dear Flow says:

    Double shamez/shame on you.

    • BVIslander, USA says:

      We have Comcast,Time Warner,Direct TV and Xfinity and you have a choice of TV,Internet and phone service if you want the three in one package which I have and my bill is $ 130.00 per month. We don’t pay for land lines.

      Like 8
      Dislike 1
  10. Let them says:

    Take their freeking land line and shove it were the sun can’t shine.I am good with Tech. I know how to hook my S**t up.

    • You and me both says:

      I am ready to start my underground service and start hooking certain people up. H*ll,if you Tech savy, you can build your own cable box and get cable and Internet without a land line.

  11. Ausar says:

    You see why Premier Fahie, if you had just put more teeth into the Consumer Protection Bill, how issues such as this could have been addressed?

    This is why we need a COMPREHENSIVE bill, Premier, one that addresses issues, ALL YEAR ‘ROUND and not just during times of disaster, which may occur “once in a blue moon”!

    Please, Premier: BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD, ON THIS!!!

    Like 10
  12. Tampa says:

    Don’t worry my AT&T SIM card working in western and somehow part of Jost Van Dyke for free

  13. Tooth&Claw says:

    Still don’t even have a landline connected since Irma. This is the second year of waiting.

Leave a Comment