For you al to understand what it means to be an Internet Super User in the Caribbean. It cost me. It’s costing me $4,500, not in fees to the Internet Service Provider you know? I am paying TSTT that to use my regular telephone line to do it.
You see, my ISP is in Port of Spain, 15 minutes drive from my house; in traffic.
To tell this story, I have to kind of fill in a few details for anyone not familiar with what passes for a telecommunications industry in the former 809 area code.
Sometime, back in the 1920s and 30s, an English company called Cable and Wireless began going around the Caribbean, and making deals with the former oligarch regime that still ran the region. You know how it goes, colonial governors, premiere’s, C&W businessmean and ubiquitous lawyers and accountants, all making ‘progressive’ efforts to wire the Caribbean for telecommunications, signing deals with one another, that in every case, committed individual territories into iron clad deals, giving them a complete, totalitarian monopoly in the Caribbean. You would think that kind of privileage, tax concessions, and a total monopoly would have to die a natural death after ten years, twenty years, thirty years even.
However, these myopic motherfuckers, did not think past their own lifetimes, and signed away seventy five, eighty-five, a hundred years of of a complete Cable and Wireless monopoly in the Caribbean.
What does this actually mean?
In real world terms, we quite literally pay three times what ordinary service costs in the US, Canada and Europe.
Cable and Wireless, a mere blip in the European telecommunications wars, is a fat Chesire cat, raping the Third World, and making us pay for the privilege. This is how the single area code 809 was created to designate all the English Speaking Caribbean islands.
It’s like a herding, and they have made us slaves, just a little neo-slavery to go with that neo-imperialism and neo-colonialism.
We have put up with the worst kind of customer service that you can imagine, and blithe, ‘I obviously don’t give a fuck’ kind of attitudes by Cable and Wireless workers, and it’s everywhere. All over the Caribbean. There is no escape.
We pay exorbitant prices for telephone services, that in the U.S. costs a third of what we pay. Everything from cellular service, telephone, Internet, ADSL, the works, we pay through our noses for it.
My girlfriend monilove23, told me tonight that we in the islands are happy as fuck. People are going to war over land, and territory, and honour, weare going to war for the fucking telephone.
I don’t mean that as a joke, TSTT in Trinidad has been fielding bomb threats for a number of weeks.
The worse part, is the complacency of our leaders. Jamaica, although their cellular network went open market a few years ago, still has terrestial line commitments with Cable and Wireless. Barbados, which has just granted licenses to a few independent operators to set up their own cellular networks, is still some years away from the contracts for terrestial installations to expire, and by then, Cable and Wireless would have had eighty years of infrastructure in place. I hardly think that any other telecom company wiuld spend the kind of money they would have to in such a small territory to compete with Cable and Wireless.
In Trinidad, where I live as I write this, Cable and Wireless has 49 percent ownership in the Telecommunications Service of Trinidad and Tobago. The government has the other 51 percent.
In some more real terms, this means that we have no choice either.
Many of the governments aren’t even trying to fight any of this.
The few ISPs that are fighting get fucked. It’s as simple as that.
Because of the monopoly on land lines, TSTT refuses to facilitate any other Internet Service Provider. So in the toll-based pay system we have, we’re calling long distance a few mere miles away, because they will not allow the ISPs to create more than one POP location.
So they will sit and quite superciliously tell you, “This is why we enourage our users to sign up for our service, because our lines are toll-free.”
I am horrified. As a tax payer, I am disgusted that my government thinks it’s appropriate to treat me this way. I still pay fucking VAT on the phone bill and income tax and NIS and all the fucking schemes they have to strip what money I do generate how is it that they justify the kinds of things I am forced to do, because it’s the law.
We’ve exchanged one form of slavery for the next, and some rich white kid gets a Ferrari for Christmas because of the Black people in the Caribbean.
I say: God damn blast and fuck Cable and Wireless. I think they should be shot with shite and strung with cobwebs.
So how’s it bubbling in the former 809?
The natives are restless…..