The wait is over as 45,000 broadband Internet subscribers in The Bahamas have already seen a five-times increase in their speeds at no additional cost, according to Cable Bahamas Ltd. The company announced the speed increases at a press conference on April 12, with an official launch day of April 22. The process has been nearly two years in the making.
The company began rolling out the upgrades shortly after their announcement just one week ago, with residential and commercial customers in New Providence and Grand Bahama seeing a significant boost in their Internet bandwidth.
Cable Bahamas’ Vice President of Engineering John Gomez said that the transition to the new speed levels has been smooth. “Our staff and our network was prepared for this, so for us it has been a comfortably smooth jump to the new broadband Internet speeds. Our network has performed flawlessly.”
Head of Marketing and REVON Product Manager at Cable Bahamas Ltd David Burrows stated that the company was very pleased with the roll-out. “We have seen no surprises whatsoever, except the pleasantly surprised customers that have begun to enjoy the new speed levels.”
Mr Burrows explained: “We began the distribution of new cable modems — free of charge — for our higher tiered subscribers about a month ago. That made the switch over seamless, since more than two-thirds of those customers were completed prior to our announcement. Plus, the overwhelming majority of our customers didn’t require new equipment at all, so their upgrade process was quite simple.”
Those customers that do require a new modem are able to exchange them at no cost prior to April 30 at Cable Bahamas’ Mall at Marathon location in New Providence and at their East Mall location in Freeport.
The company’s three segments of Internet services — REVON (residential cable modem), REVON Pro (business cable modem) and REVON Fibre (commercial fibre optic) — were all increased as part of Cable Bahamas’ upgrades.
The impact has already been felt among the thousands of REVON Internet subscribers in New Providence and Grand Bahama who voiced their pleasure on social media sites. One recently upgraded subscriber said, “I am extremely happy Cable Bahamas,” and another shared, “I’m feeling it already. THANKS CABLE BAHAMAS!”
Raymond Bethel, a resident and REVON Internet subscriber in eastern Nassau said, “I am ecstatic to see the speed increases that are rolling out to Bahamian consumers! My family and I are now in a position to use our computing, gaming and mobile devices with ease.”
Elated customers began posting their speeds on Cable Bahamas’ Facebook page as they began to experience the upgraded speeds. One subscriber said, “I’m getting 48 Mb/s [megabits per second] easily,” which indicated excellent speed and performance that had been upgraded from the previous speed level of 9 megabits per second.
“We were pleased to see that a number of subscribers have already asked to be put on a waiting list to receive our brand new service level, REVON Extreme, which will deliver speeds of up to 70 megabits per second,” Mr Burrows said. “That service level is already testing very well and is expected to be available within a few weeks.”
The company also advised that REVOICE phone service subscribers would also experience improved performance as a new Quality of Service (QoS) protocol has been activated, giving greater priority to voice traffic on the cable network.
The company is holding a week-long special event of the new service levels at centre court in The Mall at Marathon in Nassau. The demonstration will include a multi-roomed “connected house” with a “family of Internet users” all enjoying the company’s broadband Internet, cable TV and voice services. Visitors to the mall will be able to experience the speeds first hand, through video game systems, computers and tablets. The event starts at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 20 and runs through the evening of Friday, April 26.
The next phase of the upgrades will impact REVON subscribers in Abaco and Eleuthera, with an official activation day of May 20. Crews have been working diligently to prepare their network on those islands. Cable Bahamas has already begun testing and deployment of the increases in Abaco, which the company says is now ahead of schedule.