FLOW working on fixing Internet issues
May 5, 2017
FLOW working on fixing Internet issues

The shoddy Internet service that has been affecting some FLOW customers is being blamed on network congestion, caused by the vast number of customers that have been added to the network.

“FLOW has become a victim of its own success… because of those additional customers, the network is becoming more congested, so we need to relieve that congestion, we know that,” said president of Cable and Wireless Caribbean Garfield “Garry” Sinclair last week Wednesday, while speaking at a press briefing which was held at FLOW’s base at its Halifax Street building.

Sinclair explained that the combination of the Cable and Wireless and FLOW legacy networks saw customers added to what is called the Hybrid Fibre-coaxial (HFC) Network, hence the issues. HFC is a telecommunications industry term for a broadband network that combines optical fibre and coaxial cable.

He said that they have since imported into St Vincent and the Grenadines the equipment needed to address the issue and they are deploying and testing the equipment.

“We need to relieve that congestion now and we believe that by May, certainly by June, we will have… we are going to have a lot of the congestion issues resolved,” said Sinclair.

He said that FLOW is looking into a number of upgrades and fixes to stabilize the system and these include extending the life, if it economically feasible, of the local copper network, as well as deploying the Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line 2 (VDSL2).

Sinclair said that with the VDSL2, customers can achieve speeds of up to 50 mbps over the copper network.

“So, we are looking to support Wayne (country manager of FLOW Wayne Hull) in whatever way we can, in order to ensure he continues to deliver a superior customer experience,” stressed Sinclair, who added that the issues in improving the network capacity and bandwidth in the Grenadines is also being addressed.

“It is not that we are not aware of the issues, we just need to support Wayne better and that is what I have said to him and his colleagues,” said Sinclair, who took up his current position on January 1 this year.

He said that the idea is to continue to transform and modernize FLOW’s Caribbean business and the telecoms industry throughout the region.

“It is a business that is constantly evolving, changing constantly, being disrupted by new technologies, by the addition of competition through combinations and mergers and acquisitions, so there is nothing happening in this business unless it is changing all the time and to manage through all that change is quite a task,” Sinclair told journalists.

The C&W president praised the St Vincent operation, noting that he also met with Minister of Telecommunications Camillo Gonsalves and they spoke about the issues.

“The transformation of our Caribbean business is made that much easier when you have well-run operations like St Vincent and the Grenadines, ably led by Wayne Hull and the rest of the senior leadership team. My role in helping transform this business is made much easier by the fact that Wayne and the team are already working really hard to deliver the best services at the best prices, with the best infrastructure money can buy, to the people of SVG,” Sinclair said.

He added that even though every customer is not “absolutely jumping for joy all the time with the service”, the staff is always working, “to figure out… to get to the bottom of what it would take to delight”.