BVI News

Telecoms companies given until end of year to improve internet

Minister responsible for communications, Mark Vanterpool.

By Davion Smith, BVI News Journalist

Local telecommunications providers have until the end of the year to at least start showing signs of improved internet service in the British Virgin Islands.

While speaking to BVI News on Monday, Communications Minister Mark Vanterpool said the telecoms companies are first being given an opportunity to rebuild their systems, which were damaged during the September 2017 hurricanes.

The territory’s three main telecoms providers are Flow, Digicel, and CCT.

“I met with all three of them and from what I’ve gathered, I believe before the end of the year they will have some better answers than they have had before in terms of [internet] speed,  reliability, and I hope cost. So, I believe all three of them are working feverishly to get back up on track first of all,” Vanterpool said.

“From what I’ve seen from some of them, they have made relatively good progress and they are working towards answering to our [call for] more reliability,” the minister added.

Companies promise results by summer

The minister said ‘some’ providers have promised results by the summer of 2018. However, he said he is opting to extend that time to end-of-year given the 2017 disasters and the unpredictability of the impending hurricane season, which starts in June.

“You never know what’s going to happen based on what we’ve seen,” the minister reasoned.

But, the minister intimated that the extension is not an invitation for the telecoms companies to become complacent.

Asked what government plans to do if the telecoms companies do not provide results by year’s end, the minister said he has received “good assurance” from the three internet providers.

“They understand it’s in their best interest to really get on with it. If they don’t, we have to get on with it. That’s all I can say,” Vanterpool asserted.

Back in January, the minister announced that government had given the telecoms providers an ultimatum to improve their internet service.

He said government would consider inviting other internet providers to operate in the BVI if local providers do not comply.

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  1. Oh boy says:

    Joker bout end of year. Are you serious. So if there is no improvement. What?

  2. NDP Comedy Hour says:

    He will be out of office by then. Lol

  3. Waste of Time says:

    Well give me till the end of the year to pay my bill. Sick of them. All of them.

    • VICKIE says:

      When will we understand that these ministers only cares for us to go to the polls and vote for them. This has been going on for years he should tell them we want fast and proper internet or we will have to get rid of who cannot provide good service and bring in a provider who can do it. They are charging so much money for service that we cannot use for weeks some of us do not have service and we still have to pay. MR VANTERPOOL when will you stop them from robbing us to the core we need help not tomorrow but now or else we will get some kind of help when we go to the polls on election day I for one mean that without a doubt. I am tired of this especially at this time when we really need to help us relax when we are indoors.

  4. L says:

    The problem is that we, the customers, continue to accept and pay for junk. We need to put or feet down and say “enough is enough”. What if we all take back in our devices and do without internet for a couple days? I bet they will get the message and do better.

    • Luvz says:

      You may a valid point there but the question now is how many of us are willing to do so; turn in our devices and do without for awhile. Communication is so valid that I do not think anyone wants to be cut off from the outside world.

      Internet has now become a vital part of all our lives. Sadly; no one would do as you suggest so we can only hope that things do improve.

  5. Richgdgy says:

    Cmon people introducing new competition is the way to go!

  6. Alowisus says:

    yall aint gonna do shyte

  7. Reminder says:

    Decades ago, early 90’s maybe?, our government announced it was entering into talks with ATT. Cable & Wireless, now rebranded as ‘Flow’, wrote a letter to the newspapers, letting VIslanders know that C&W owned the poles and lines. They said our comms would be shut down and they’d be out of here in 4 days unless the talks with ATT ended immediately. They did.

    I’m just wondering: Who owns the poles now?

    FYI: ATT recently bought direct TV and has started an online streaming cable/satellite-type service that will have DVR capabilities at the end of the month.

  8. Get it Right says:

    The hurricane season starts on June 1st!

  9. Lodger says:

    I dont know about the quality of local mobile calls but isnt the internet (which is not in the BVI) accessed through just one company? Isnt that FLOW? So isnt the interconnection between the companies to access overseas the problem?
    All three of them are precious short on public announcements on their progress.

  10. ??? says:

    I really think they can do it (Better Internet by the end of the year). The only problem is that the price may double by then…..

  11. Concerned citizen says:

    CUT is the worst. They should not be charging people for the service they are providing, it’s terrible.

  12. Change says:

    They were like this before the storm, so they already had years to improve their quality and price, which they didn’t.

  13. STRUPES says:

    The end of the year is too long to wait especially since they won’t do anything!!!

  14. Charnele says:

    Please ask CCT to do better they are the —– of the three

  15. Guest says:

    Mark haul you ****** – s**** mouth ***. Hopefully you will be out of office by then. Pure hot air, what happens at the so called end of the year another extension?? Schups!!!!

  16. jc says:

    Im now in UK ( thanks to IRMA) and still using CCT boatphone for my calls to BVI, No problem CCT and thank you

  17. VI to the bone says:

    Den of thieves..They all are. They been ripping us off for years

  18. Diplomat says:

    Is the end of year ultimatum just a ploy to buy time ? Is it providing false hope for consumers? What are the minimum standards that telecommunications companies are required to attain by year end? What are the consequences, if any, if the minimum standards are not attained?

    Without painful consequences, bad behaviour and poor performance are often repeated. If the cost of not performing is less than performing, non performance is often chosen.Telecommunications companies must feel some real pain for underperforming. What is the role of the TRC in the poor performance of telecommunications companies? Lil General need to ramp up the pressure; cannot behave like a frog in pan ah water that is gradually heated. The frog eventually perished. Nuff talk. Action needed.

  19. Oh Well says:

    This is why monopolies were outlawed. If you’re still paying a monthly fee, who is losing?

  20. Tallfat says:

    Eight more months to continue milking the people of their hard earned money? What a set of paper soldiers who speak tough but softer than butter. We getting a banging for the buck you pass. A just had some money swiped from my phone while sleeping by that slug. Thought the liberalizing of telecommunication would have brought relief? Must be relieving me of my hard earned money with full knowledge of OUR regulators blessing. Smh.

  21. Resident says:

    What about cable TV? Any answers? No word from them up to now?
    We want to know WHEN CABLE WILL COME BACK?

    • Bills says:


      Cable TV sold just before the hurricanes. Ask a certain doctor and CCT that question. The way I see it, you better off trying for satellite even though rumor has it that they busy trying to block that.

  22. Rubber Duck says:

    Here is the good news. These th–g inc—-t s—-ls ( the telecoms companies not the govt in case you were wondering ) are dead men walking. Mr Musk with the Tesla’s and the Spacex and others like him are going to put a worldwide network of satellites into orbit which will provide internet wherever you are. You can forget talking over wires, you will talk over What’s App and the like over air wherever you are. From the middle of the Atlantic if you wish. Their use will spread like wildfire and burn up the ground-based companies in a heartbeat. And good riddance.

    If you want to know how quickly it will happen consider that the IPad is less than 8 years old.

  23. Watcher says:

    The govt should implement a special tax on these bandits because they are making a fortune out of us.

  24. YOU ARE JOKING!!! says:

    I can’t download an English book to my kindle because IM IN ANTIGUA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m sitting in my living room at Carrot Bay right now. This is ridiculous. I can’t imagine the Antiguan government or the Jamaican government putting up with this kind of crap!

    • Rubber Duck says:

      You need a VPN or blocker so these people who decide that people living here will pay more than people living there don’t know where you are. No free ones work but unblock isn’t bad.

  25. Conor mcgregor says:

    “You’ll do f—– nothing”

  26. Rubber Duck says:

    This is what the same Flow offers elsewhere

    The offer LaBOX

    59.99 month (euros – about $75 )
    3 services in 1 flag_fr
    Internet + Television + Landline
    – Internet Ultra High-speed up to 1 Gbits/s
    – WiFi bi-band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz
    – 5 Mail boxes included
    – 82 channels included whose 28 in HD
    – 38 radios in digital quality
    – Access to VOD services
    – Unlimited calls to landlines and mobiles Monaco / France

    So why can’t bvi have it.

  27. Suggestion says:

    Government Stop Pu**y-footing with these companies. Invite an other company … for instance Verizon , which will be a plus for All. Our tourism industry would benefit from this,as well as locals. Those visiting the BVI can enjoy the benefits of connectivity without the high roaming charges . And when locals travel to St.Thomas, Puerto Rico and the US Main Land , the same should apply. The price could be low if proper legislation is in place. Just a Thought .

  28. Had enough says:

    I’ve had enough of the poor services we pay big dollars for. Either they improve or government should book them all seat on BVI Airways and fly them out of here

    BTW if Gov’t looking for their plane its in Moncton Canada since August.

  29. Hummmmm says:

    I live in Freshwater Pond and CCT can’t seem to get decent signal in that area up to now; but you have to still pay. All three telecoms services are rip off as far as I am concerned.

  30. FLO says:

    By the end of year. “Introducing super ultra mega fast internet, only for $999 a month

  31. CAPTAIN HOOK says:

    They can say anything mehson. what’s their excuse for the worst internet on Earth and these ridiculous prices? …it all boils down to money…making more and more profit off of the consumers. This will end when Rasta man stop smoking marijuana.

  32. Change says:

    Its been six months after Irma and service still sucks in Virgin Gorda…

  33. Excited? says:

    So it is bad from all three companies. Why does the govern. let them charge us for what we are not getting. Make the restructure the bills. Hit them where it hurts one time and see if things don’t change.

  34. Seriously says:

    Jokers, we need new providers here long time. DG Cell is robbing the whole community with 250, 170 a month for a nogood internet and SLOW FLOW cant even get it together. Much less to talk about CCT. When those tourist comment on the BVI internet last year they were only opening our eyes to the abuse we have been accepting here a very long time. What i really want to know how can such weak and abusive service be in the BVI so long. U could imagine hurricane made the entire bvi community vurnerable and all Digi cell did is put their prices sky high with no consideration or price control towards the people who suffered from the impact of the hurricane. Hon Lavity Stoutt would have not accepted that.

  35. JAY says:

    We expect better performance soonest. I am surprised that Flow charges more despite the fact that the land lines[ phone] are not working.

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