By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd is expected in the coming weeks to begin beta testing its new Internet Protocol (IP) TV product in the Family Islands.
Leon Williams, CEO of BTC, said officials will use Bimini to kick off the testing next week and later send technical teams to Cat Island and Andros.
He said Prime Minister Perry Christie had requested that BTC begin its work on Family Islands, particularly in places that do not have cable television services.
Mr Williams declined comment on how much money BTC is putting behind this new venture. However, he said, the new TV product was a part of upgrades to BTC’s network worth $65m.
“We will start beta testing in Bimini starting next week,” he said. “The next two weeks we will deploy in Bimini and subsequent to Bimini we will deploy the network in Cat Island, in Andros and in places like Inagua where it is a small concentration of customers to get all the bugs out. We were challenged from Prime Minister (Perry Christie) to go into those areas where there is no TV at all. So we take that charge.”
Mr Williams first announced the plans last week when he officially opened the new BTC retail store in Alice Town, Bimini.
“You’ll enjoy free IP TV during the test period,” he told those attending at the time. “You’ll have an alternative to those other fellows, and you’ll get a taste of what is to come next year when we launch IP TV with all the channels.”
Phil Bentley, CWC’s chief executive, told Tribune Business that the Bahamas was “the biggest opportunity that the company has” regarding IP TV.
CWC plans to also roll-out IP TV in six other Caribbean nations in the next 12-18 months.