Manager of Flow, Wayne Hull, speaking at a company press conference last week. (iWN photo)

Telecommunications provider Flow says it has offered its customers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines a free upgrade of their broadband service.

Speaking at a press conference in Kingstown on Wednesday, Flow’s country manager, Wayne Hull, said that many of the company’s customers are expecting too much from the broadband packages they select, but the upgrade would give everyone a better internet experience.

He noted that the company, earlier this year, announced significant upgrades to its broadband network.

“We have invested in core equipment to upgrade the backbone and the work on the outside plant and the development of the nodes in the communities is ongoing,” he said.

He said the upgrade has allowed the company to give customers a free upgrade, moving customers from Turbo 2 Mbps to Turbo 5 Mbps.

Hull said this comes into effect on Tuesday, adding that the Turbo 5 is now the new entry package.

He said that the company did a one 1 MB upgrade earlier this year but did not make an announcement.

“But because we have done the necessary upgrade, it has now given us the capacity to upgrade the speed. So I think this will be a welcome change for customers.”

He said the Turbo 12 Mbps has been upgraded to Turbo 15.

“And this will give customers an extra 2 megabytes on their speed without any increases on their bill.

“And just these two services alone impact roughly about 80 per cent of our customer base. So the subscription level to the lower end speed is still pretty high,” he said.

Hull said that his company advises its client on what the various speeds are suitable for.

“For instance, with 5mbs, this is mainly good for browsing, emailing, doing your online shopping and occasional streaming. And it is generally tiered for persons with smaller households.”

He said that for persons who want to do more and have more people in their household and a lot more devices, Flow recommends an upgrade to Turbo 15.

“With more devices, it is better for connection purposes,” he said, adding that the company offers up to 100 Mbps speed, adding that the Turbo 25 is much better for streaming television.

It was pointed out that notwithstanding the announcements of an upgrade earlier this year, many people are complaining on social media about the company’ service.

Elimination of congestion

Hull said that the major upgrade was done to remove the congestion that happens sometimes in mid-September.

“From my perspective, we have given the customers a bit of time to experience the better service and we have actually seen the usual traffic on the network increase drastically, meaning that persons are now able to download now, because you will see the spike in the traffic on the network.”

He said that the company does not have a single node that is congested.

“We have to give it time, obviously, for the customer to feel confident that this thing is beginning to operate the way it should.”

He said the company would give it about three months.

“But what we are seeing, the number of faults being reported are coming down slightly over the last 30 days or so. But it has not been a very long time [since the upgrade was done],” Hull said, noting that the upgrade was done in mid-September.

He said that another issue is that almost 70 per cent of the customers signed up for the minimum speed, previously Turbo 2, which was just 2 Mbps.

“And the majority of people want to use that to connect a mobile phone, maybe a laptop, maybe another son or daughter in the house on a mobile phone and plus they have a box streaming. And I think sometimes it a lack of education why customers don’t understand that you can’t be streaming [on those speeds] and expect to get steady service with 2 megabytes of service.”

He said the company has been doing videos to educate people.

“But I guess we have to do a bit more from our side to educate people about the speed.

He, however, said that when a customer signs up, the agent advises them about the capabilities and suitability of the various packages.

Hull said this is one of the reasons why his company is upgrading the speeds for free.

“… because people will continue to complain… We are taking it to Turbo 5 so that people can experience a better service,” he said.

10 replies on “Flow announces free upgrade of broadband speeds”

  1. IWN should investigate wether the Country manager knows what he is speaking of… he is quoted as saying megabytes repeatedly when in fact they serve megabits. There is a significant difference megabytes are written MBps while megabits are written Mbps. He also speaks about the speeds in definitive terms 5 and 12 without actually saying…. up to 5 or up to 12. How can we expect proper service when the country manager does not understand the internet or his services

  2. I don’t entirely agree with the manager’s attempt at defending his company. I have had the frustratingly helpless experience of signing up for the 25 Mbps package and for consecutive days and weeks at a time I could barely browse the net, much less to download or stream. While it might be true that some customers don’t fully understand what speed is more suitable for their needs, it’s equally true that average households simply cannot afford the high prices of the higher speeds. Additionally, Flow has to admit public responsibility that they have just been unable to deliver consistently high quality of internet service. I know what I talking about. On multiple occasions during this year, Flow technicians would have left the premises and I still have poor quality internet.

  3. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH! Wayne Hull, you run a greedy and deceitful company, whose sole mandate seems to be the maximization of profits through the constant rip- off of Vincentians, by offering mediocre services for exorbitant fees. Your company is not alone however. FLOW is one of two such companies in SVG. All that technical gibberish you mentioned will still add up to EXTREMELY POOR SERVICE, which your company is notorious for, plus, with FLOW, there is no such thing as FREE.

    1. BRAVO and a big round of applause to you! I fully endorse your comments and you hit it where it hurts the most too.

  4. Concerned citizen says:

    When I first signed up for flow internet after switching from cable and wireless I choose 12 mbs and the agent did not even mentioned that for an additional 20$ I can get 25mbs. Am paying for that amt of internet and still have to go hours without proper service and all you would hear is to reset the modem. Fed up…

  5. I don’t blame FLOW for “fooling the [m]asses.” They will continue to do as they deem best because of the ineffective regional Regulator known as ECTEL.

    I blame the useless regional regulator ECTEL who is always 10 years, if not more behind in effective telecommunications regulation. ECTEL is the most reactive Regulator there is. They have no idea how to be proactive and is staffed with the most incompetent team of claimed “experts,” who are constantly shown up by the simple man on the street.

    ECTEL for over 10 years has been trying to get revised legislation as it relates to the telecommunications sector. Oh don’t start me on number portability and net neutrality. While other countries are way ahead, ECTEL is far from even having legislation drafted on these topics.

    Google searches of this entity will reveal nothing of consequence as it relates to recent telecommunications regulation. However, do searches of the top management’s trips to several countries and several conferences and forums and you are most likely guaranteed, more google searches results. Their pockets are filled, travel miles racked up and per diem to die for……..yet, the sector is not being effectively regulated.

    For the past two years, the Staff works for home most days. Ideal job right? I heard they were looking for a General Counsel and Legal Officer, because the last two lawyers resigned months apart. I should apply right? Then again, this job only suits person who like to waste time, while collecting tax free salaries and perks. Its a pity, I am proactive.

    I hope the Ministers in the relevant countries do some deep and effective introspection quickly and disband ECTEL and let the local NTRCs take control of telecommunications sector.

    THEN, we may not have all these issues……Flow, I DONT BLAME YOU. I WOULD HAVE DO AS I PLEASE UNTIL I AM STOPPED!!!!

    IT’S AT LEAST WORTH A TRY.

    MINISTER, IS ECTEL FULFILLING ITS MANDATE?

    1. Vincy Lawyer, you are an above average intelligent person so you will understand that refusing money handed to you is not the smart thing to do (unless it is blood money). Apply for the job, after all, you need money to survive and besides, you can still be proactive. Just saying.

      1. R, it’s okay. I will pass. Money isn’t all for some people.

        I wont commit professional suicide by working for a stagnant entity just because of the money!!!

        If there’s no room to learn or contribute, I have no calling in it.

        Our principles on things are different and that’s okay.

        My comments in relation to ECTEL remains. Perhaps, other Attorneys can test those waters.

Comments are closed.