The Antigua and Barbuda Government has announced that the state-owned Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) will invest millions of dollars in becoming much more competitive in the telecommunication sector.
According to CMC News, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said APUA could spend an estimated EC$80 million on its own sub-sea cable.
Browne was quoted as saying that adding high-speed broadband is essential to providing wide enough bandwidth, to facilitate all the modern industries that now operate globally on the Internet.
Last month, the telecommunications company, Digicel, said it was seeking a meeting Browne after he accused the Irish-owned company as well as another provider, of “raping” the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
Digicel said that with serious issues around the liberalisation of the fixed line market and number portability to name but two “this is just the latest in a series of moves being made to stifle competition in the telecoms market in Antigua and Barbuda for the benefit of the state-owned APUA”.
Browne said that in 2019, “APUA will invest $80 million, to acquire its own sub-sea cable and to democratise access to the Internet through the provision of more affordable, reliable and faster internet service to residents,” dismissing the concerns of the existing foreign owned telecom providers, according to CMC News.