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Leading the way

From Barbados Advocate

INCREASED access to reliable broadband has given Barbadians an advantage when compared to their Caribbean neighbours.

According to Jenson Sylvester, Managing Director of Flow Barbados, the presence of a strong communications backbone has led to increased entrepreneurship levels and business enterprise.

“Connectivity is the ultimate power and there’s no doubt that it has increased overall productivity in Barbados, certainly within the last decade. No longer are individuals and businesses confined to our shorelines, as they are now able to promote and sell their goods and services to a global audience. And while we may take it for granted today, this facility is still relatively new to the Caribbean,” he said.

Cable & Wireless Communications, the parent company of Flow, first introduced Internet to Barbados and the wider Caribbean in the mid-1990s, and according to Business Monitor International, there are now more than 89 000 domestic Internet connections and that number is expected to grow to 104 000 by 2021.

Flow’s suite of broadband packages include download speeds of 35Mbps (Essential), 75Mbps (Plus), 175Mbps (Max), 250Mbps (Turbo), 350Mbps (Ultra) and 1GB (Giga).

“Barbados continues to enjoy a very favourable communications profile among developing nations and the ratio of Internet users per capita even puts Barbados ahead of some industrialised countries. This access to connectivity can never be overlooked when analysing the development of a nation,” added Sylvester.

According to the International Telecommunications Union, Barbados is currently ranked 38th overall and first among Caribbean countries with 76.11 per cent of the population having access to a dedicated Internet connection. To compare, Iceland ranked 1st with 98.20 per cent and the United States ranked 40th with 74.55 per cent.

“Since laying the foundations for a fully connected environment, Flow has continued to invest significantly in its broadband network and the people of Barbados are now reaping the benefits, whether it’s in a commercial, social or personal capacity,” added Sylvester.

“We are even now delivering a gigabit residential connection that is actually one hundred times faster than the average Internet connection. This is unprecedented in the Caribbean and our packages have been structured to deliver the best possible value for our customers. We are in a new era of dynamic communications and we will continue to make long-term investments because we strongly believe in the power of a connected society.”

Cable & Wireless Communications Plc (CWC) is a full service communications and entertainment provider, operating in the Caribbean and Latin America. With annual sales of over $2.4bn, it operates both mobile and fixed networks, supported by submarine and terrestrial optical fibre backhaul capacity. Through the acquisition of Columbus International Inc. on March 31, 2015, CWC now delivers superior high-speed mobile data, broadband and video services. It has leading market positions in Mobile, Fixed Line, Broadband and Video consumer offers.

IMAGE: Jenson Sylvester, Managing Director of Flow Barbados.

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