Internet is still too slow and expensive in Caribbean Netherlands

Though the digital infrastructure on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba has improved, the in­ternet services are too slow and too expensive. This was stated by Caretaker Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy EZK Micky Adriaansens in a letter to the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament on Monday, January 22.

The minister based this conclusion on a recent study on the digital infrastructure of the Caribbean Nether­lands by the Amsterdam Bureau of Economics.

“I think that it is important to pay special attention to the situation in the Caribbean Netherlands,” writes Adriaansens. This because the digital situation on Bo­naire, St. Eustatius and Saba differs from that of the European Netherlands. The geographic location and small scale make for higher cost, explains the minister.

In the past years, the Dutch government has worked on lowering the cost of internet access through struc­tural subsidies, writes the minister. “We also see that the internet is not of sufficient quality, particularly on St. Eustatius and Saba, despite all the efforts made. The internet speed is relatively low.”

According to Adriaansens, the installation of fiber-optic cables would greatly improve the internet quality. That is why the ministry has reserved three million eu­ros to improve the digital infrastructure in the Carib­bean Netherlands. The minister aims to work on the installation of fiber-optic cables with the island author­ities and local companies, while also keeping an eye out for new developments such as internet satellites.

The Daily Herald.

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One comment

  1. I was fortunate to spend Y2K on Saba. I was in the IT profession back then. Remember when they said the internet may all blow up due to old software? Remember the cost of calling the US or St Martin? Little or no internet? Now, we’re worried about internet speed.

    You say “while also keeping an eye out for new developments such as internet satellites.”
    Being a former cable and fiber optics guy, I’d suggest you do more than “keep an eye out” on internet satellites. Presently, there are amazing high-speed choices available with satellite internet. A simple search will produce options. Starlink, Hughesnet and Viasat come to mind.

    And it’s much cheaper than running fiber across the island to connect to copper then to business and homes- “fiber to the curb” it’s called.

    With the ability to geolocate users, I’m sure the government could reach out to providers and inquire about pricing. I don’t even know if they offer it. But, it’s worth a call.

    Installation and repair of fiber optics and copper is not cheap.

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