Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Results of a Survey on the Public Opinion about Telecoms Liberalization in the BVI

JML Communications Ltd. commissioned a survey to get people's individual opinion about the process of telecommunications liberalization taking place in the British Virgin Islands. The survey was conducted by Research and Planning - a reputable research firm based in El Salvador. From May 2-10, 2007 they have interviewed a total of 350 persons, using the BVI Telephone Directory.

As a result of the survey, an estimated 77% of BVI residents surveyed think that the government should provide licenses to more than three companies currently having them, to operate in the new liberalized telecommunications market. 76.8% of customers interviewed by Research and Planning said they would prefer that government allows more than the three existing companies to receive a license,while 12.9% said they would prefer government allows only the three existing companies to receive a license; 10.3% didn’t know or had no opinion. Certain number of people also responded that they want to see the companies working with telecommunications to be local, because the money generated this way would stay in the islands.
Respondents also want the following mobile telecoms operators to enter the BVI market - Cingular (4.23), Digicel Group (4.14); bMobile (3.64); Cable & Wireless (2.86); and CCT Global Communications – (2.42).

Other things indicated by the survey are that:

  • Telecommunication liberalization is estimated positively by most respondents;
  • Liberalization should bring better rates, reliable services and technical support, bigger diversity of services and reliable companies;
  • By the opinion of many respondents, the government has delayed resolving of the matter because they are protecting the existing companies from other competitors;
  • A large amount of people did not have any knowledge of any company applying for a license, but most of them mentioned Digicel, which had been refused a license by government. Most respondents also mentioned that they would like to see Digicel in the BVI market, because it provides good and reliable services and would lower prices;
  • The government should not grant more licenses than the market can handle, but also should not restrict the number of companies applying for a license.

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