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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2004


Barbados: ISP morphs into competitive telco

Barbados is a case study of an island on the edge of major change as a result of telecommunications deregulation. The densely populated island has a more literate, more affluent, better-educated population than most of its' Caribbean neighbors. The island is poised to steal some of the billions of dollars in call center revenues that are now flowing from North America to India. The Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC) has gone so far as to build 10 office parks to cater to this sort of business.

Yet with overseas calls costing $0.60 per minute or more (due to lack of competition until just very recently), Barbados is still at a disadvantage in competing with India, where calls to the U.S. may cost only a few cents per minute.

This disadvantage may be about to change, however, with the government's recent deregulation of telecommunications in late 2003. A local ISP (Internet service provider), Sunbeach Communications, has already begun offering both competitive wireless and wireline services to island businesses and residents.


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