Following Years of complaints, loss of revenue, and an unreliable network, residents of Bequia are now expected to breathe a collective an individual sighs of relief with the unveiling last Friday August 27, of an improved network.
Telecommunications provider FLOW launched its improved suite of services to the island of Bequia on that day and Country Manager Wayne Hull stated: “All of our services are now migrated to sub-sea fibre.”
Hull added ,Today we are officially launching an upgrade to our Grenadines Network. We at FLOW are committed to the development of the people, businesses, and life in the Grenadines. We understand that we are in a time where Internet connectivity is more essential than any time before in our lifetime, and the number first generation that have grown up with Internet, it has transformed our lives for the better.”
Until recently, telecommunications services which included fixed line and cable television which was provided to the Grenadines, used microwave technology which is decades old. It uses high frequency beam radio waves between two over the air points, which has a line of sight, and used to deliver Internet, video, and voice services.
“Sending Internet traffic over the air is not as efficient as connecting using fibre,” the FLOW official admitted. “There were severe challenges with the capacity on the microwave network when compared to the customer demand for Internet services.”
He said that FLOW’s Bequia “customers can now access all of FLOW home services with Internet speeds of 250 mbps download.”
Prior to the upgrade, most of FLOW’s Bequia customers were served on the company’s ADSL network, which had an average download speed of 2 mbps. These customers can now migrate over to the HFC network with a minimum download speed of 50 mbps, “with no increase in the price of service. This is a 25time improvement in the average speed of Internet access across the Grenadines.”
Addressing the hospitality sector in the Grenadines, Hull stated, “To the hotels, private islands, and the wider hospitality industry of the Grenadines, our platform can now deliver high speed Internet access to your properties anywhere in the Grenadines Islands where you operate. This is a giant leap towards improving guest experience when they visit the Grenadines, and vastly help to develop the tourism product.”
He revealed that work is currently ongoing in Canouan and Myreau to rehabilitate the cable television services HFC network there. This ongoing improvement project is expected to be completed within the next 90 days, but “upgraded Internet service is already available in Canouan for all customers.”
However this upgrade would not have been possible, as Hull stated, if the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines had not made an investment in the CARCIP Project, and setting up the private/ public partnership to manage the sub-sea cable, allowing open access to all operators.
“Our journey to build, upgrade our networks, and love our customers in the Grenadines has only just begun. We are also rebirthing our networks in the Grenadines to improve resilience and reduce the incidence of outages,” the FLOW SVG Country Manager added.