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Date: 30 Apr, 2014
Source: Barbados Government Information Service

Columbus Telecommunications (Flow) is celebrating its first year of successful operations in Barbados, proving that investment in Barbados is still a viable option for investors. This is especially so in the areas of Information and Communication Technology, and telecommunications.

Managing Director of Columbus Barbados, Niall Sheehy attested to this, as he lauded his company’s performance within the past year, at its recently held cocktail reception at the Barbados Concorde Experience. Columbus Telecommunications (Flow) was the first company/provider to launch a fibre network to households and IPTV. Additionally, just months after the company’s commencement, Barbados was the first Caribbean island to officially have access to the fastest speeds, of up to 150 mbps, available to residential customers in the entire Caribbean.

“These speeds have been doubled to a historic 300 mbps. Our broadband achievements alone are testimony to the reason why we are here this evening, having celebrated our 10,000th broadband customer earlier this year,” Sheehy noted.

Not only did Columbus meet its stated target for the first year, which was to deliver service to approximately 30 per cent of households by the end of 2013; the telecommunications company surpassed its objective, providing service to almost 50 per cent of the island, which equates to almost 60,000 homes. The company expects to service over 80 per cent of the island by the end of the year.

In order to build a “cutting edge network” and continue the rapid success and expansion of the company’s services, Sheehy said Columbus would be investing in excess of BDS $140 million (US $70 million). A significant amount of these funds has already been spent to construct their new headquarters at the Warrens Orange Mall in St. Michael, which is due to open later this year.

Barbados’ Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Hon. Donville Inniss, delivered the keynote address at the company’s event, and stressed the importance of new telecommunications entities such as Columbus to the economy.

“From Government’s perspective, specifically to ICT and in relation to telecommunications, we recognise that this is an area that is really going to drive this economy and society forward.”

The Minister also noted that the Barbados Government had “to provide the best enabling environment including the regulatory environment” and as a result, would seek to continue working everyday to ensure that the work of the Barbados Fair Trading Commission, for which his Ministry was responsible, was done throughout Barbados to ensure “fair competition and regulations across the board.”