Submitted by Philip Skeete
Sir Roy Trotman
I should be grateful if you [BU] would get in touch with Sir Roy and tell him that a strike by the members of the BWU will not cripple LIME operations in 2013. All Sir Roy will be doing is crippling the Barbados economy. LIME’s survival depends on people using cell phones. While the workers are on strike, their idle fingers will be sending text messages to friends and family. Tops-up will be the order of the day.
Pointless boasting that the Union successfully took strike action for 3 weeks against the Telephone Company 31 years ago. Those were the days when radio telephone operators connected people worldwide.Now every home in Barbados has a MagicJack [Skype] and while they are on strike, they will be giving their friends and family a blow by blow commentary on what is going on.
Those were the days when newspapers had to wait hours for Reuters and Associated Press stories. Today, MCTV, Direct TV and Satellite receivers mounted on top of news media houses provide them with data before Reuters or Associated Press can get it right. Remember the 9/11 attacks? FOX News and CNN brought the news into the homes of Barbadians. They didn’t have to wait till the following day like back in 1981 (Bartel strike) to get the news. Every day youngsters watch European football on MCTV or on satellite TV at bars all over Barbados. LIME doesn’t provide these services. Nobody is waiting for an operator to answer the phone at LIME to send a telegram to friends and family overseas, Sir Roy. MagicJack is there for that purpose.
LIME experiencing Gateway problems
BU understands that Cable & Wireless is currently experiencing serious Internet networking issues. According to a BU family member the problem is complicated to explain in layman terms but involves something called Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). This is a protocol used by big Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and carriers to exchange routing information between each other.
To translate: several Internet services currently cannot reach Barbados LIME customers. LIME has been experiencing the problem since 13.07.2012 and it may not be resolved for a few more days. Without an active Fair Trading Commission and Consumer organization the Barbados public is left to ferret information based on the effort of a few good souls.
We also take this opportunity to highlight the recent offer by LIME to double the ADSL bandwidth of customers. Customers should be aware that at the end of the offer is a caveat. If you do not respond to LIME to say you refuse the service your ADSL billing will be increased! It is not free!
- 1.5 goes to Up to 4mbps (3 month trial, at the end of which, the customer must opt out or will be billed at the new 4mbps rate).
- 4 goes to Up to 8Mbps
- 6 goes to Up to 12Mbps
Alex McDonald – LIME Official
In a Press release issued yesterday, LIME announced “all post-paid mobile customers completing data streaming, browsing, tethering and downloading of documents, games and any other transactions which go via the WAP (Wireless Access Protocol) and/or Internet Gateways on the LIME data network will be billed”.
Nation Newspaper – 4/5/2012
Barbados Underground agrees with the decision by LIME’s management to increase mobile rates effective July 1, 2012. Today many Barbadians have been demonstrating outrage via the various media channels at what they believe is the obtuse manner LIME has unleashed its new pricing plan. BU would venture the opinion that LIME has made its decision full in the knowledge that Barbadians will ‘keep noise’ but continue to subscribe to their services. Truth be told BU can’t wait until the next increase.
LIME prides itself on being a good corporate citizen although BU recalls that it was one of the first companies in Barbados at the onset of the global recession to retrench staff. It should come as no surprise after the recent settlement of the collective bargaining agreement with the Barbados Workers Union that LIME would seek to find ways to boost its revenue position. It now has three quarters to get the job done.
Submitted by Old Onion Bags
The Hon. Prime Minister Freundel Jerome Stuart, Q.C., M.P
By the time a person has achieved years adequate for choosing a direction, the die is cast and the moment has long since passed which determined the future
“How long is too long…. if it’s good?” We have been on wait on some matters for too long. For instance, when will there be a Stage II in the seemingly never ending saga of the Alexandra matter?… the wait is too long. When will there be a new appointment of Governor General?…the wait… too long. What about the LIME settlement….we were told only this weekend to standby for news…the wait …too long. What about commentary, even a reaction or even indication of a reading of, the Judicial Report on the CLICO matter? …again…the wait too long. How about General Elections… for some again …..the wait too long.
Call it a waiting game…..wait and wait some more
Barbados is rapidly losing the regional Information and Communication Technology (ICT) battle with T&T, Jamaica and Grenada being increasingly recognized as regional nations of choice for international ICT business investment, this is due largely to investments these nations have made in their national ICT infrastructure. Barbados has been overly focused on the tourism industry to the detriment of many other industries like ICT, a pattern which must end. Jamaica in the midst of their economic challenges have invested in creating a national ICT infrastructure that is now attracting international ICT investors like Digicel, which is now based in Jamaica but could/should have been based in Barbados.
What is the sense of having a well educated population if we don’t have jobs for our youth when they are done school. It is as though we need a major shock to our idea of life and liberty in Barbados (which by the way is the only reason to vote for the DLP in the next general election).
We as a society still view diplomas on a wall as proof of a profession’s worth and as a result of this institutional thinking they are many young Bajan entrepreneurs and “doers” who will never get a chance to “shine”, just because they did not go to Harrison or Queens College or UWI. If we as a nation are going to survive in the post-recession world, we have to change this mindset and way of thinking about education, for competitiveness sake.
Adrian Loveridge - Hotel Owner
Like many other businesses, communication is critical to the survival and success of our hotel. The ability to respond promptly to booking requests is directly related to the level of occupancy. If we do not answer emails quickly, there is a strong possibility that a potential guest will move on to another property and/or destination where they feel they are more appreciated. So, whether we like it or not, we are almost hostage to the monopoly landline provider, Cable and Wireless (Barbados) Ltd.
If I start counting the days one or more of our telephone and internet lines have been out of service over the last year, it is staggering. Even when we have an internet connection, often the speed is dramatically short of the promised delivery.
Last week we reported one line out of order through the call centre in St. Lucia or Jamaica. A sixteen digit fault reference number was given and a remedy was promised ‘in 12 working hours’. 5 days later, we are left to wonder exactly how Lime defines a working hour.
LIME’s biggest problem is that they simply do not have the bandwidth available to share among it’s current subscriber base. When they first introduced ADSL their customers actually got what they were paying for. Now, the network is so congested that everyone has to fight for a piece, and this problem is especially bad in heavily populated areas where one or two fibre links have to serve a single exchange from which thousands of phone lines are served.
To their defense however, they have been constantly upgrading and installing mini exchanges all over the island to circumvent this problem, but it’s not enough. And what’s more is that they’ve increased contention ratio which only compounds the problem. I’m speaking subject to correction here but the last I heard is that it’s set at 50:1, which means that if you’re paying for 8Mb/s, then you have to share that between 8Mb/s of bandwidth with 49 other users… I don’t know about you, but that’s unacceptable considering the rates that they’re charging when we see what they’re offering in other islands like Grenada. If they charge the same rates here that do in Grenada, then an 8Mb/s connection would be $120.66 BDS Incl VAT! A 2Mb/s connection would be $59.90 BDS incl VAT!
Haven’t you ever noticed that the internet is slower during the day (business hours) than it is at night? I can’t wait for Digicel to start offering their WiMax service for residential use…
Video credit to Technician
Good Morning Alex; (LIME’s Country Manager)
Trust this note finds you well and eager to clarify… I have everyone on board so we’re at the same page – last night a number of regular readers to my site said they could not access it – now I have a new server to accommodate increased users, I checked via Safari/Firefox/Chrome/Internet Explorer browsers and my signal is fine! But the fans who could not?
They all were using LIME, my service is no longer with Caribsurf – so my site appears in no time flat? Is there a problem in relaying my info to your customers? The fact I carry regional Football coverage from your competitors is considered objectionable? Or their forays into Asiatic climes?
In addition I decided to add Political coverage on my site, is this another problem? I recall having a chat with you at the Ermy Bourne Resource when George Payne said he was running for the BLP’s Party Chairman – I should hate to think LIME is embroiled in political intrigue at the behest of certain interests? If that was true, it would speak poorly to freedom of press which the BAJ so valiantly upholds, even Social Media as myself, plus if this can happen to myself… Imagine what would happen to Advocate, Nation or other online media houses when they have truth to carry? Perhaps an alert campaign with each house’s subscribers should be made to warn people who they support via Internet or Mobile or otherwise they may be denied complete access to their service which they paid for which is contrary to dictums from the Fair Trading Commission?
Sir Roy Trotman on the right captured with other parties in the Sandy Lane/Royal Shop dispute which remains unresolved
It is an open secret BU questioned the basis for conferring a Knighthood on Sir Roy Trotman by the government of Barbados. We support the social partnership which is comprised of government, private sector and trade unions even if we have done so with some apprehension through the years. Based on general feedback it is a partnership which has served Barbados well. In fact countries across the globe have studied and applauded the Barbados initiative. Conferring a Knighthood on Sir Roy who is the head of Barbados’ leading trade union, the Barbados Workers Union (BWU), has always been viewed as a conflict of interest by BU. Here is a man who has to sit across the collection bargaining table to negotiate the best terms for his members with the same government who rewarded him with a Knighthood.
The preamble should explain why an event staged by LIME Caribbean in January this year to ‘wined and dined’ labour leaders from nine trade unions and seven countries in the region is viewed with some suspicion by BU. Early this year the nine trade unionist were ‘wined and dined’ by LIME in what was described as ‘partnership building’. LIME formerly Cable & Wireless Ltd has been at logger heads with unions across the region linked to its efforts at organizational transformation in recent times. The process to date has been painful. In Barbados the Prime Minister had to intervene in a decision to close the call centre in Barbados. As far as we know this matter has fizzled despite the mouthings of Sir Roy and requests from the Prime Minister’s Office for LIME to reconsider.
BU appreciates there is merit in collaborating with trade unions across the Caribbean. LIME is a Pan-Caribbean company and the need to build partnerships with the respective unions must be seen as a priority to ensuring a stable industrial relations climate for the company. Additionally, lessons would have been learned from the First Caribbean International Bank experience which was very painful.
The question which we hope our media practitioners will ask LIME management – why is the initiative being led by new head of regional marketing and chairman of LIME Jamaica, Chris Dehring? Seems highly unusual such an initiative should be led by marketing. Perhaps there is a good explanation therefore let us hear it!
Another concern has been the lack of coverage given by local media to the ‘wining and dining’ event. It seems reasonable given the high profile of LIME in the region and the acrimonious posture it has endured with some regional unions (including the BWU) that the event in January should have been viewed as a big news story. Help us out here but BU has scoured the Internet for mention of the story locally with little success.
Here is what we believe.
LIME is one of the biggest spenders of advertising dollars in Barbados and the region. The current economic challenges has made the media patsies for LIME with the deep pockets to exploit. BU suggest the reason why the local media has been ‘dumb’ on this story is because it does not want to offend its cash cow.
Read the story which was carried in the Jamaica Gleaner in February 2010: