By Carlena Knight
Residents who are fed up with slow internet will soon get to breathe a sigh of relief as APUA Inet officially launched its ‘Fibre to Home’ initiative yesterday.
The 4G LTE project will see Inet customers upgrade from DSL to fibre optic, and offers patrons almost 200 times faster internet speed.
An official ceremony was held yesterday to mark the historic occasion at the APUA Corporate Headquarters on Old Parham Road.
Sir Robin Yearwood, the minister responsible for APUA, applauded the staff for a job well done over the years as the company continues to transition.
He also made the call for 5G LTE to be implemented in all homes by the end of next year.
“Within the next year, or by the end of next year, we expect to be at 5G. Everything will be in place and we know that the general manager will find the extra money to bring in certain parts. The people of Antigua and Barbuda can be assured that by the end of next year and I give the direction to my staff, we want to reach 5G,” Sir Robin declared.
Plans are also in the works for another project which will see the acquisition and implementation of subsea cables.
Vaughn Browne, Manager of the Telecomms Business Unit, also shared his excitement over the new project which “will take broadband to the next level”.
He also shared a proposed timeline for when the first phase of installations should be completed as presently work is being done on the northern side of the island.
This means residents in Yorks, Villa, Point, McKinnons, Gambles, St John’s City, Gambles, Clare Hall, Friar’s Hill Road, Cassada Gardens, Fort Road, Dry Hill and Paradise View have already begun to receive the new service.
And, as of yesterday, residents in Powells, New Winthorpes, Judges Hill, Barnes Hill, Coolidge, Dutchman’s Bay, Carlisle, Skerrit’s Pasture, St Johnston’s Village, Paynters and developments, Fitches Creek, Weirs Estate, Cedar Valley and developments, Blue Waters, Hodges Bay, Crosbies and Mount Pleasant also joined that list.
“It currently involves a pretty wide area. The northern sections were mentioned, but the current exchanges that we will be looking at, which is Coolidge and St John’s, also encompasses Potters. It goes to All Saints Road up to Buckley Line and all the way down to Five Islands, so there are some areas of Grays Farm that we will be addressing.
“All of that is in the first set of areas that we will be looking at and then subsequent to that, depending on what our customers’ demands look like, then we will look at what areas we will go to next,” Browne explained.
“The intention that we have and we are on schedule for the areas that we identified and they are scheduled to be completed by September,” he added.
The company is also rolling out some bundles for existing and new customers to ensure the transition runs smoothly.
Head of Sales, Cathrona Samuel, shared some more details.
“Those areas that we would have announced and the areas that we are going to announce today those customers will be migrated at no cost. Once you are an existing subscriber with an account in good standing, we will waive the installation cost and we will also provide the modem at no cost and freeze the existing rate for the next two months,” she revealed.
“We are inviting new customers to go online and apply. If not, new customers are free to come in to any of our store locations,” Samuel added.
Persons can log onto inetfibre.apua.ag to register or visit any of APUA branches. Residents in New Winthorpes, Pigotts and Powells can also look out for the APUA road show to sign up in the coming weeks.