Two of the largest telecommunication networks in Antigua and Barbuda will have major competition in a matter of months after Telecoms Minister Melford Nicholas revealed major plans for the local utility company, the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA).
Speaking at the Cabinet’s weekly briefing on Thursday, Nicolas announced that APUA will be slashing internet rates this November in a move which is certain to stiffen local competition.
“In discussions with the APUA telecoms management team, the Cabinet has given APUA a challenge, where they’re expected to offer a package of a minimum of 10Mbps[Megabits per second] by the end of October, at a price point of about EC $75 monthly,” he said.
The Minister said this was as a result of a public consultation which was held on Monday where the public expressed the dissatisfaction with the high rates associated with slow internet service.
According to the Minister, the Government has now given APUA the resources needed so the residents could receive quality service at a cost which is expected to bring some shake-up to the other major telecoms company, Flow and Digicel.
“I think that’s good news. Coming out of the recent public consultation, it was made clear to the Antiguan public that we’re not best served by the quality of service we have had, and that we’re paying the highest rate for the lowest quality broadband service,” Nicholas said.
He said that the October timeline given is as a result of APUA awaiting required equipment in order to begin implementing the new plans. Nonetheless, he is hopeful that it will be an independence gift to the nation.