I’ve been holding back on saying anything too negative about the state of Islandless, only because … well, I guess it kinda looks bad to do so. Money has been spent. If this turns out to be a bust, then I guess it goes in the “failed businesses” category.
Just found out today that the lawyers in the Attorney General’s office issued a letter to the chief minister (with whom we are eagerly awaiting a meeting) informing him that our proposal falls squarely within the bounds of the Cable and Wireless agreement. The bulk of our case is that our idea is *not* within the bounds of said agreement; namely, our use of un-licensed frequencies, and our provision of conduit for IP data, which is not considered a telecommunications service, strictly speaking (differences between circuit switched and packet switched networks, etc). In any case, we have what we consider a pretty solid case, in addition to the fact that c&w is basically pillaging these people as far as prices / services go. They need competition, badly. Many here understand that.
For some unspecified reason, the gov’t seems to be doing exactly the opposite of what would be good for the majority. While individually, almost everybody supports us, as a unified body they cannot support us? I can’t explain it. It’s a small government, and the rest of the people are all very close to them simply due to the size of this place… So one would think that the will of the people could easily be acted upon. That is probably overstating it a bit… it’s not the will of the people that islandless be allowed to operate, and that the c&w monopoly be abolished by allowing competition. In fact, most people are pretty ignorant about… lots of stuff, it seems to me. Like a battered wife, they don’t resist being pushed around and treated poorly by a large corporation. And it’s all done with a smile. People may tell you on the side that they wish things would change, but does anybody think they could possibly do anything about it? As I’ve said before, nobody calls bullshit on anything, it seems. Unfortunately, it takes more than a few Americans coming in and calling bullshit to change the state of affairs – in the BVI, anyway. All the other Caribbean nations / overseas territories have already opened their markets, most of which had very similar agreements with Cable & Wireless to the agreement the BVI has. The gov’t says that de-regulation is underway, and perhaps that is true… I expect it to be a long, legal process. Again, doesn’t make any sense to me… they’re the government, god dammit, grow some balls and do something! What’s stopping them from simply mandating that the market be opened, right now? It’s been done elsewhere, directly in the face of c&w, and with success. frustrating…
So, we’re still going to try to meet with the Chief Minister. We need to give him the chance to allow us to operate in spite of the c&w agreement. He does have the ability to do so, and to basically just mandate that it happen. There is the idea that the “innards” of the gov’t would never do anything at all if there wasn’t leadership pushing it in new directions. It would be pretty fly if telecommunications de-regulation in the BVI started with Islandless Network…. not outside the realm of possibility.
Can’t help like feeling it’s a nail in the coffin, though. We continue on.
I’m giving more thought to my back out plans, however. I think it will be a fairly smooth transition to whatever, simply because part of the BVI is about not really doing much of anything, thus not spending money, thus having sufficient savings for facilitating a change in plans, if necessary. I think that’s sorta expected for most people, but I guess I’m just not that good at saving money – plus I was usually fairly broke… my jobs have traditionally paid decently, but I never worked quite full time. In any case, I’m definitely less apprehensive about whatever happens now than I’ve been about previous moves when I was dependent on somebody else to basically float me. hoo ray!
In the mean time, I continue banging out more of an ISP back end and enjoying the quite spectacular visage out every window.