Gail Purcell, Country Manager of Flow Grenada and the Minister of Communications, Works, Physical Development, Public Utilities and ICT, Gregory Bowen applaud after the broadband speed test hits 100Mbps on Tuesday, October 1, 2013.
MORNE ROUGE, Grenada -- Grenada has become one of the five Caribbean nations now offering up to 100Mbps (megabits per second) of broadband internet service to its residents.
On Tuesday, Gail Purcell, country manager of Columbus Communications Grenada Ltd, operating as FLOW, announced that residents were now receiving two and a half times more speed than were previously available at no additional cost through its new Let’s Evolve as People (LEAP) campaign.
“This leap in capacity is about enabling you, the customer to better utilize broadband in the areas that impact you most,” the Purcell told the officials, teachers and media gathered for the press conference. “Whether you are participating in online classes, utilising multiple smart devices at home, video chatting, or downloading large amounts of data for homework, your internet experience has just been considerably improved.”
The minister of communications, works, physical development, public utilities and ICT, Gregory Bowen called Tuesday’s announcement a “remarkable achievement” and was a direct testimony to the government’s continued efforts to bring broadband to the people of Grenada.
“Our goal is to ensure that we use broadband to boost the economy,” Bowen noted.
He said government services such as online payment of taxes and land registry were now within reach with health care and agriculture being other areas which could take advantage of faster internet speeds.
The minister said Flow’s increased broadband offering now meant that young people could stay on Grenada while working for international companies and become creators of content to share with the world. He acknowledged the important partnership between Columbus and the NGO, Brightpath to deploy technology focused training programmes to assist in this objective. He cited the recent BrightPath led mobile app creation workshops as an appropriate start to building and expanding the skills of youngsters.
Rhea Yaw Ching, corporate vice president of sales and marketing for Columbus, who joined the conference via video conference, said Grenada was very special to Columbus as the island was one of the pioneers in the region for the use of ICT. She added that this pioneering spirit would be further enabled as Grenada would be the pilot country for several new projects to be rolled out under new partnerships with BrightPath, the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and the educational software company idoodlesoftware Inc.
“Recent reports note that the Caribbean has slipped marginally in ICT performance. We must remember that we are in competition with the world. Columbus is committed to providing the infrastructure to bring the competitive advantage necessary to launch Grenada forward,” Yaw Ching stated.
Residents can immediately experience this advantage with the upgrades. Broadband Plus takes the consumer from 4Mbps to 10 Mbps, from 8Mbps to 20 Mbps and 12 Mbps to 30 Mbps. Customers can also purchase the new Turbo 100 which was tested on Tuesday by Bowen and Purcell following the announcement.
Flow Grenada used the event to present a check for EC$1,500 to Sturling Campbell of Boca Secondary School. Campbell said the school presently has about 20 computers for the more than 600 students and the funds would help with the infrastructural upgrades ahead of their plans to acquire more computers to take advantage of the free broadband available from Flow to all schools on island.
The five nations now offering up to 100Mbps broadband in the Caribbean are Curacao, Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados and now Grenada.