PM lashes out at Flow and Digicel


Prime Minister, Gaston Browne accused Telecoms Companies, Flow and Digicel of “raping” the people of Antigua & Barbuda.

According to the Prime Minister, it takes about 20 million US dollars of investment to harness subsea cable for broadband services between islands of Antigua and Barbuda.

He said with profits of about 8 million US dollars annually the telecom companies can get a payback within three years.

“What we found out in the case of Digicel and Flow, they are presently selling to APUA that broadband service at a mark up and this is wholesale you know… a mark up of about 600%”, he revealed; calling it exploitative.

“That is just rape. Raping the people of Antigua & Barbuda”, the Prime Minister said on Pointe FM.

“APUA on the other hand is selling that same service that they’re buying from Flow and Digicel to their customers for $75 half the price that Flow and Digicel selling to their customers, he added.

The Prime Minister said Flow and Digicel probably has a profit margin of about $1000% on their retail prices.

He said the model is exploitative and his administration will not sit back and allow it to continue.

He said the government is investing 30 million dollars to acquire subsea cables for APUA.

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  1. Please…anything you cant get a hand in you have a problem. Maybe it is true but what is your hidden agenda? You want a level playing field? Allow them to run the fiber optics cable!!!!🤔

    • Another smoke screen. If they free up the local access to both Flow and Digicel, in short time Antigua will be on par with the other islands in terms of broadband speeds. However APUA would be at a disadvantage ,
      I wish both companies would come forward and let the population know the full story.

      • I happen to spend serious time in the other Islands (saint Lucia for eg).the internet I get from apua (residential) is better than What I get from flow.if I run a speed test In slu to a server in Miami the max download I get is 8mbps (on flow 25 mbps plan). However in Antigua using apua dsl is 16 mbps (average) and 19 using fibre (apua basic fiber package which has a Max of 20) .take the time and research what persons are saying about the internet in the various islands before you decide to piss in your own

  2. I agree with PM on this and also agree on the solution. Can’t we just ban these two companies from operating in Antigua?

    Let’s just take over their cables under eminent domain.

    • Any action by a government to ‘nationalise’ the products, services, capital or assets of a privately owned company operating in their territory is fraught with extreme danger. Future companies considering investment in Antigua would look at that precedent as the single most serious element of risk in investing and would likely refrain for a long time. You do not want to take that route. Case in point: Venezuela.

    • Really smh y’all really don’t care about other people’s well being do you know how much people is going to be out of a job then when people like you gt robbed you want the most to happen

  3. Surely this is something that regulations ensure does not happen ?

    Why is it that it needs the PM to state what is clear in the system of Capitalism !

    • Capitalism in no way prevents cartels. It was designed to reduce the potential of monopolies, but oligopolies are often very similar and equally dangerous. There are many situations in which a critical resource or asset is owned, or co-owned by multiple companies and they are forced to cooperate on pricing, deployment, access, exploitation or distribution. That cooperation, in the absence of effective competition, would at first appear to benefit the customer by rationalising the significant costs in creating access to that product, but in the end, it always leads to a negative for the end customer. Always. In this case, however, the advent of new technology will end the oligopoly. IMHO.

  4. I applaud the Antigua PM, and understand his frustrations. I like the energy behind finding an alternative. But he needs to be advised carefully here. There are new technologies on the horizon that will render undersea cabling obsolete. He should not invest that kind of money in what are, essentially, the twilight years of international data provision by cable. Low orbit, low latency satellite transmission by companies for very high bandwidth data access is about to be launched within single digit years. This will imminently render these oligopolistic strangleholds obsolete.

  5. Mr PM excellent move. History will remember you for this stand ..

    Shabby service and high profits.

    Please go on a vigerous marketing campaign for PCS slash the prices and force consumers to switch to PCS service.

    The volume will bring much needed revenue to APUA that will cost very little to collect.

  6. I would have to disagree with the pm. Apua should have already invested in undersea cable. It should be the other way around that flow and digicel buy from them. But wen u have a company which only purpose is too put money in rich people pockets that’s what happens

  7. Whilst I compliment the PM on his statements, I am not sure that he have the guts to do anything about it. The government collects a substantial amount in taxes from both FLOW and DIGICEL. Sadly though, most of the ABST simply goes to offset phone and internet charges racked up by government departments. With all the travels done by Ministers and other persons overseas, most times the monthly bill incurred is far greater than the amount of taxes that is collected. That is why in reality, the Government sees very little gain from the telecoms providers.
    What is true though is that we here in Antigua pay far more than most other countries for Internet and telephone services. The high cost couples with the ABST charges is a huge deterrent to doing business here in Antigua.
    I wonder if there’s any oversight committee who monitors and examines telephone bills for government just to ensure that there is no wastage.

  8. I agreed 100% with the Prime Minister, They are robbing us every single day. In New york you can get a nice phone and a whole month internet and voice service fore US$50 and unlimited internet service and real unlimited

  9. These people are out of order. Congratulations to the comrade Prime Minister for confronting them with harshness, speaking nothing but Truth. This is an example of capitalism gone wild. It’s time for order. Order, I say! The Leader of the People is speaking Truth on the behalf of all the common people. Forward Ever! Backward Never! This is the New Antigua. Old tings passing away. Those out of order must be mannersed.

  10. Hold up. I thought APUA was the only legal entity that had right to fibre, hence why Baldwin sent police to block another company from landing an underwater cable years ago. Doesn’t Digicel and Flow buy from APUA and not the other way around? Does the PM have his facts right, can someone explain?

  11. It is time that Antigua has its own watchdogs to regulate these companies. Not just telecommunications, very sector, energy included. They should have the power to fine for abuse and to force change. I think Milford Nicholas suggested such a thing a year or so ago but nothing happened.
    Start fining the companies for abusing the populace and things will change.

  12. I am in total agreement with the PM. I have watched the other providers over the year cripple the consumers with there astronomical prices and below par service. Once APUA ventured on the scene with both mobile and internet service prices dropped and the average Antiguan was able to afford both. In addition as the years progressed APUA service and become better and can boast both the best mobile and home internet service in Antigua. I can also say that it is second to none in the Caribbean. Imobile speeds can be compared to some parts in the US.

  13. Funny cable contract they sell, first you get these channels and then it’s oops where taking away those channels but your bill stays the same? It’s okay because it’s in the contract. That’s like buying a car with four tires then you get it home and the dealer calls you up and says sorry I’m coming to pick up a tire the car only gets 3 tires. If you sell me 50 channels then you should be required to continue to deliver 50 channels. I just got cable and have it one week and now I see they are reducing the number of channels. I can’t even get NFL games that are on free channels. Like recently CBS and FOX showed some games but certain games you can not get then the next game comes on. Now mind you I call my friends and they say they got those games on the free to air TV. I paid for all four tires and I expect to get them.

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