August 10, 2010
Karib Cable: No cable tv without box from Thursday, August 12

With 98 per cent of their customers already equipped with the digital boxes, lone cable provider here, Karib Cable, believes that it is time to pull the analog plug.{{more}}

In an advert carried in SEARCHLIGHT, the company informed the public that on Thursday, August 12, their analog system would no longer be available.

They advised customers who had not yet picked up their digital boxes to “make a special effort to do so”.

When the deadline is past, persons without boxes would not be able to receive service.

Karib Cable’s Manager Ian Mulhern speaking exclusively to SEARCHLIGHT from St. Lucia, said the company is currently contacting customers who had not collected their free box. He disclosed that Karib Cable was now opened to customers who wish to receive additional boxes.

“We take a deposit of $50 and then we charge $10 a month rental fee for the box and they are available now,” said Mulhern.

Mulhern said that although they have earmarked this Thursday as their deadline, they may adjust it in order to make sure that all customers would be able to take advantage of the digital service.

He indicated that the analog service is well past its cut off date, and that the introduction of the digital service would lower costs and guarantee customers better quality.

“It’s costing the company a large amount of money to keep the two channels options open,” Mulhern noted.

“Secondly, because we are running two systems; we’re splitting the signal.

“We get one signal in and we have to split it to two separate systems; the analog quality is same as before but the digital channels are suffering- they aren’t showing as well as they should,” Mulhern said.

He added: “If we give up analog and the feed is being fed into the digital, those channels will get better for certain.”

Mulhern said that Karib Cable will be in discussions with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) today, as well as the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunication (ECTEL) and the Ministry of telecommunications on Thursday.

These meetings, he said will discuss among other things the analog to digital switch, and the company’s proposed increase of cable fees. (JJ)