Telecom firms breach licences over fibre-optics

| 06/10/2016 | 30 Comments

(CNS): The minister with responsibility for utilities has admitted that “many” telecommunication firms operating in the Cayman Islands have licences that require them to build out fibre-optic networks across all the islands but none of them have met their agreed target dates. Planning Minister Kurt Tibbetts said that because of the problems the telecom firms claim they are having with Datalink, the CUC subsidiary that owns the poles and power network, as well as the cost to roll out the networks to less populated areas, the firms are not going to do this without being compelled.

Answering questions in the Legislative Assembly Wednesday, the minister said that the companies had agreed to island-wide networks to allow everyone to benefit from telecommunications liberalisation and not just those in densely populated areas, but the firms have not met deadlines and “none are likely” to build out networks to East End, North Side the Sister Islands, or even Bodden Town, despite agreeing to do so.

Tibbetts said government was considering a universal service fund instead of imposing fines but that came with problems because any increase in fees to the telecom providers could get passed on to customers. Noting that government was looking at proactive solutions, the minister said it was “not cut and dry and it’s a concern, as we don’t just want to add another layer of payment to customers”.

Members raised concerns that excuses regarding the cost of rolling out sophisticated technology to sparely populated areas was just an excuse, as Bodden Town and West Bay could hardly be described as remote areas of the islands.

The members again raised the issue that customers are paying for 10mb/s speeds and not getting much more than 1.5mb/s, as they pointed to the law and the requirements for telecom firms to fulfil their obligations, and that the ICTA law also covered the dispute issues.

Tibbetts said he was “acutely aware” of the issues raised by members but talks were ongoing. He said that he had confidence in the current ICTA director to sort the issues and find a resolution.

The latest bad news about telecommunication issues comes in the wake of numerous complaints about internet service problems over the last week with Flow. A representative told CNS that there had been no problems with its internet service recently but that the customer service centre in Jamaica was impacted by staff shortages due to the warnings regarding Hurricane Matthew.

“Flow doesn’t have any current issues,” a spokesperson said Tuesday. “Our Contact Centre, which is based in Jamaica, had a reduced number of staff answering calls due to the storm passing close by, which will have impacted response times over the last couple of days. But our staffing levels are now back to normal. Whenever we have service affecting outages, we inform customers via the IVR at the Contact Centre, on social media and via texts.”

The firm asked anyone with issues to contact them so they could address any faults.

See the minister discuss the issue at the start of the CIGTV coverage of LA below:

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Category: Local News, Utilities

Comments (30)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have Flow Fiber Internet, 25 Mbps down 5 Mbps up, maybe I lucked out, since I’ve yet to experience any problem at all with my Flow Service.

  2. Anonymous says:

    if you dig deep enough you will discover that some (not all) of these service providers are actually owned by an MLA(s) or their familes…makes you think why penalties aren’t being levied……

  3. Anonymous says:

    A lot of this has to do with good old CUC. They own the poles and aren’t allowing the operators access to them. Way to go CUC!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was sold 10mb service by Lime and that service never worked consistently, the internet would randomly shut down.

    After over a year of constantly calling Lime for faults they admitted that the top speed I could get was 5mb.

    They adjusted my bill going forward for the slower service. I asked for a refund of the 18 months of overcharges and their answer was meh….NO.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Lime has been having issues with dns for the last week but they don’t even seem to have bothered to notify customers or anyone. Best solution is to set your dns to a well know one such as google but would be nice if they let us know. lol

    • Operator says:

      Right you are.

      Below is what I posted several days ago in the article about the ICTA news rules and 500K fines.

      From my troubleshooting and tests over the last 2 weeks or so, I’ve determined that it’s Cable and Wireless’ Primary DNS server: ( 209.27.52.51 ) that is failing to route/direct to the intended websites/services more often than not, for whatever reason(s) at the time of detecting the fault(s). You’ve got to refresh once or twice for it to load…or flow. Lol. Or not at all.

      Whois Check: http://www.tcpiputils.com/browse/ip-address/209.27.52.51

      I was going to make someone at the ICTA aware of my findings/test results, but the last time I submitted something I got no reply for my efforts from them/head honcho. :/ I’m happy to see some efforts to address such issues are underway.

      So, my suggestion is to switch your DNS at the router level or at your computer/device IPv4 Network Settings to one of the public/free services.

      My #1 favourite is:
      Google’s DNS servers.
      Primary: 8.8.8.8
      Secondary: 8.8.4.4

      2nd: Hurricane Electric DNS.
      Primary: 74.82.42.42

      3rd option: Level3’s DNS servers.
      Primary: 209.244.0.3
      Secondary: 209.244.0.4

      Lastly, I do not suggest *OpenDNS public/free DNS servers as an alternative because they redirect your pages when a website address doesn’t load/not available/wrong address. They do some good filtering, but not worth the redirecting/slight of hand marketing/user statistics capturing that they do. IMO.

      Google does the same with capturing user stats via their DNS servers if you do use them, but since 95% of us/the world use Google Search/YouTube/Android or other products from the Alphabet Inc. company, their systems most likely already know more about you than anyone ever has…or ever will! That’s my conclusion at least.

      *OpenDNS is a great option to block those dirty websites from your office/household however. ?

      Easy read/the more you know! See:

      Domain Name System (DNS) Explained: https://is.gd/prYfOo

  6. Anonymous says:

    Send home all the FLOW / C&W mercenaries who they thought had a silver bullet to getting things better and bring back the locals who knew the network and have the country at heart. Where were they during IVAN and PALOMA when local staff only pulled Cayman through those tough times.

    Telecomms need to be regulated like the lawfirms. People in timbuktu who know nothing about the country, network or the customers are monitoring and operating the network. Madness toward the residents and economy of Cayman.

  7. Anonymous says:

    My FLOW service has been ATROCIOUS for the past two weeks (before the storm was an issue). missed calls, being on hold for decades, being transferred to different jurisidictions like Barbados who either would redirect to an endless wait or drop the call as they clearly were picking up the brunt of it. Dial 811 and a lovely robot would tell you that your broadband issue had already been placed and that a technician was coming (forever) tomorrow. Now that I know I’m not only of a handful of people I won’t hold my breath as to when it’ll be sorted. Further, one machine told me to dial 1 for Ms. XXX or 2 for Ms. XXX. Figuring that Ms. XXX was the only person to talk to, I went for it. The poor lady was clueless as to why she kept getting so many calls. I’ve lived all around the world with no telecom company being completely fair but for a TELECOM company….you’d think their own communication systems would be figured out! Their direct deposit is still working, of course!

  8. SKEPTICAL says:

    What function does Kurt actually fulfill as a Minister – apart from giving pathetic excuses for non-performance of his Ministry, and explanations that somebody else is responsible for sorting the current issue. The shit never sticks to ” Mr Teflon “

    • Anonymous says:

      To 2.59pm Why do you have such a dislike for Mr Tibbetts. Whatever it is , it seems to be personal.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t think it is personal, but rather frustration at the political system. Mr. Kurt Tibbetts gets elected year in an year out, but never does anything. If that is personal, then I guess you have a reason to complain.

        • Anonymous says:

          To 9.12pm You say that Mr Tibbetts does nothing ,which is an absolute lie. I would just ask who is getting road works done including improvements along Esterly Tibbetts and Linford Pierson Highways. However I won’t call you a liar but will say that if you were Pinocchio you would be tripping over your nose just about now.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Name and shame the same way you do it with Datalink and Flow: the two companies that are in breach of their license are C3 and Logic. C3 was supposed to have 100% coverage in Grand Cayman by 31 December 2015 and Logic by 8 February 2017. Instead of blaming Datalink and coming up with elaborated schemes like ‘Universal Funds’ where costs are passed to customers, why don’t you simply make licensees honor their contractual obligations? Isn’t that the role of ICTA as a Regulator?

  10. philip says:

    Flow is clearly not telling the truth regarding outages over the weekend, i know of at least 20 people whom use there service that had problems, myself currently still only getting half speed, there 1800 number is a joke, i phoned it on three seperate time yesterday and it just rings, got someone via there Facebook page and was just told via a PM that someone would contact me, still waiting for that, i would encourage everyone whom has/is having bad service to visit the ITCA website and fill in the complaint form, its easy to do and only takes a couple of minutes, until we all start putting pressure on FLOW via the ITCA they will continue to get away with it, the more complaints ITCA recieves the more they are aware of the issues.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Service in little cayman is a disgrace , and all we get bills and promises. I think I should start promising I will pay my bill, w h e never

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe you need to ask ICTA and Minister Tibbetts why Flow is the only Internet service provider in Little Cayman. Both Logic and C3 had an obligation to provide Internet service in Little Cayman and Cayman Brac since 2006. Instead of forcing them to fulfill their license obligations, ICTA and Mr. Tibbetts keep extending deadlines and coming up with ways to finance them through ‘Universal Service Funds’. Are they going to blame Datalink on this one as well?

      • Anonymous says:

        Why does Datalink own the poles. The people of Grand Cayman paid for the poles not CUc after hurricane Ivan. Just check your light bill. We the people should charge all the utilities companies a fee for using our poles. Why is the ICTA not looking into this?

  12. Anonymous says:

    FLOW’s telecom license should be revoked! Really!! If any other critical service provider were as inept, inefficient and dishonest there would be consequences!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Third world infrastructure for IT in Cayman. How we manage to be a player in the world financial markets amazes me.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Put the fines in to the Universal Service Fund. Then pay it out on an inverse basis where the geographically larger your network the more you are paid (from all telecoms’ fines) to finish your roll-out.

    I do not support a Government supported USF (or one paid for by a pass-through fee on the telecom bill) as the companies are already charging for that based on their promise that they would roll out universal fiber using their current business models. i.e., they are already charging all of us the value of a USF-fee (built in to their base rates) but have yet to achieve Universal Service.

  15. SSM345 says:

    Breaking the law but feel free to carry on without impunity.

    Sounds like everything else in Cayman at the moment.

    Grow a pair of balls Kurt and enforce the effing law!

  16. Horse dooo says:

    Get off your fat, overpaid arses. Do your stinking job.
    Man up. If uou cant do it, then say so.

  17. Anonymous says:

    kurt…asleep at the wheel again…..

  18. Anonymous says:

    I have tried to contact Flow about the intermittent service for the last three days with no luck. Phone just rings and rings.

    • Anonymous says:

      send them an email from the link on the Flow Cayman page. I did that and got a reply and resolution to the problem the next day. It takes you through to the local Flow people who are usually very helpful.

  19. Anonymous says:

    “The members again raised the issue that customers are paying for 10GB speeds and not getting much more than 1.5GB”. Is incorrect it should be MBPS(megabits per second). Flow is also being untruthful as it appears as they are experiencing a DNS server issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have Flow at work and it has been miserable for the last week. At home I have Logic Fiber and have had absolutely no problems. You are right they are being untruthful.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Then compel them to put in fiber

    I remember the lime and logic “we will have fiber in your area and by the whole island by end of 2015” then it was middle of 2016. Wow, almost 2017 and still haven’t even gotten to savannah.

    Guess what profiteers. You might not get as much money for the east end. But doesn’t making the HUGE profit on the heavily populated areas, justify and further more, subsidise the reasons for putting fiber across the whole island you greedy buggers.

  21. Anonymous says:

    If they don’t fulfill their contractual obligations then you must cancel their business licenses a reputable telecom company will come in to fill the void. If I were to disobey my contractual obligations, I would be fined, sued and kicked off the island. How is it they can get away with false advertising and contractual promises? Wake Up!

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