Internet speeds on St Helena are to be doubled under a new ten-year communications contract signed between Cable & Wireless South Atlantic and the island government.
Customers will also get a significant increase in the amount of data they can use, and penalties for going over the limit will be eased.
The deal commits Cable & Wireless to invest £1.5 million in new equipment.
Internet charges – among the most expensive in the world – will drop by 10% from January 2013 and by 5% in each of the following five years.
The cost of international telephone calls will also fall by 10% in January 2013.
A second contract also covers an increase in the number of television channels from three to 15, with parental controls, although this is being forced on the company because existing receiving equipment has become outdated.
The upgrade has been delayed because essential equipment did not arrive from South Africa.
Note on charges from St Helena Government:
- All published national tariffs (excluding broadband and international voice tariffs) will not rise by more than the published annual rate of inflation in St Helena, or 6% a year, whichever is the lower, for the first five years (ending December 2017).
- Service fees thereafter will be subject to review, from January 2017, with implementation of any price changes in January 2018 (except for fixed monthly broadband prices, where implementation is January 2019). The initial cost of the new TV package will be £33-35 per month.
Yahoo! About time the people at home get a break from the outrageous prices!
– Doreen Gatien, USA
How about more competition in the marketplace! Competition breeds lower prices – let’s get rid of the C&W monopoly.
– Derek Peters