Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A&B: Telecommunications firms under fire

Antigua Observer:-Telecommunications providers in Antigua & Barbuda were hauled over the coals by Member of Parliament for St George, Dean Jonas for what he said is poor services at an expensive cost.

In his Budget presentation in Parliament yesterday, Jonas said the instability in service is unacceptable given the competitive market of three telecommunication companies.

“With technology at the level it is right now, I have no good explanation as to why Antigua lags so far behind in telecommunication [in] the quality of our service. The Internet service in particular is what we rely on and we are going to need to drive our economy. The Internet service is unstable, it is very slow and it is not cost effective – this is across the board,” Jonas said.

Digicel, FLOW, and Antigua Public Utilities Authority’s INET are the three service providers here and he commended INET for its ongoing upgrades, while still condemning the unreliability of the service.

“Nobody seems to be getting it right in terms of the quality in Internet services we are getting. I have absolutely no idea what the technical reasons could be. Is it that we are not paying enough? Where is the problem? Is it a bottleneck problem we are having locally? We don’t have enough capacity to go international,” Jonas said.

The St George MP said he recently signed up for INET’s 20mb service only to realise the disappointment that the service he was receiving did not exceed 2mb per second.

He acknowledged that although the service is in infancy stage, he has reported the problem to the statuary corporation when he was informed the issues were being worked on, yet he has not seen the fruits of those efforts.

Jonas, a telecommunications engineer for many years,  said the local service is the weakest area, adding that the ongoing problem is impeding national development.

The MP admits that the government-owned APUA is making an effort but that the service remains poor

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