Minister with responsibility for telecommunications, Senator Darcy Boyce, has challenged internet service providers (ISPs) in Barbados to improve their service to the level that would place the island into the top 10 worldwide.

Speaking at the launch of the Barbados Internet Exchange at the Hilton Hotel, Senator Boyce noted that while Barbados was ranked quite high worldwide in terms of the quality of its telecommunications, ???I would want us to be up there with the very best of the competition and I make this very clear to the carriers when I meet with them.???

He told the representatives of the carriers attending the launch – Flow, Digicel, ACE Communications and Wi-Net – that with the launch of the internet exchange, there should be some reduction in costs and he wanted to see part of that reduction transferred to their customers.

Senator Boyce also urged the Internet providers to step up their game in respect of quality of service issues. Acknowledging that they were working hard on this, he outlined some of the improvements he wanted to see. ???I would like to hear that there are fewer dropped calls, I would like to know that the clarity of transmission is crystal clear when you make calls.???

He also called for more capacity in off island traffic ???so that we have more speeds internationally and more capacity to carry more calls as well as different routings???This matter of the capacity in offshore communications is critical for us if we are to continue to develop our international business sector.???

One industry Barbados would be pursuing in its efforts to provide more job opportunities for school leavers, the Telecommunications Minister said, was business process outsourcing. More of these businesses would be attracted to Barbados to do outsourcing once the offshore capacity of the island???s telecommunications improved, he added.

The Minister also hoped within the next year that the carriers would be able to do more to facilitate e-commerce, particularly for small businesses.??He assured the providers that the region as a whole was working on the harmonisation of telecommunications legislation as they work towards the creation of a single ICT space in the region.

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