A small storm erupted over English Harbour,
Antigua at the turn of the year regarding internet access for yachts berthed in
English and Falmouth Harbours.
Cheap, fast and convenient internet services were being provided by
suppliers, where a card for a month’s usage could be purchased for US$50.
In mid-December it came to the attention of the Department of Broadcasting and
Telecommunications that several companies were reselling internet services on a
band already occupied by an internet service provider, above the 100MW limit
and without an ISP Licence.
None of this was of any importance to the yachtsmen who were receiving a
good service at a reasonable price. A storm of protest followed the closing
down of the service and the starting of a new service by ACT (Antigua Computer
Technology) at US$200 per month. A petition was drawn up with around 100
signatures and a number of letters sent to the Minister of Tourism in an
attempt to overturn the decision.
Managing Director of ACT, Saloman Doumith has assured All
At Sea that he only wishes to charge the same rate as those applicable in
places such as the U.S. and the U.K. and that he will take action to ensure the
charges are reduced.
He informed All at Sea that he
wishes to provide an improving and inexpensive service to yachts visiting
Antigua. To that end, ACT will be introducing a roaming service whereby there
will be no direct charges to visiting yachts.
In order to avoid a similar situation arising in the future, the
Department of Broadcasting and Telecommunications intends to divide up the
3.5GHz, wi-max band, when it comes available and
offer it to a multitude of companies.