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Business leaders hope for better FLOW as company meets on challenges

Published:Thursday | September 19, 2019 | 12:00 AMMark Titus/Gleaner Writer

Telecoms provider FLOW was to meet with members of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday as it continued to engage business leaders who have expressed discontent with the company’s network infrastructure.

Following a meeting with industry leaders in August, the company is now doing sector-by-sector talks, having met with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association’s Montego Bay chapter on Tuesday, and has scheduled an October face-to-face with the membership of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ).

In a press release this week, Stephen Price, country manager of FLOW Jamaica, said his company is set to roll out a dedicated network for business customers and also expand its mobile 4G LTE network to 95 per cent nationwide coverage by year end. FLOW, he said, is also implementing additional measures to reduce the impact of service disruptions blamed on power outages and damage to its network.

“When we made the decision to invest US$30 million towards improving our processes and our technologies, we knew that it would be money well spent,” Price said in the release. “Our starting point was to enable business and residential customers to take advantage of the numerous possibilities that connectivity provides.”

However, expansion to its underground network to match the rapid upsurge in commercial operations that has been taking place in Montego Bay and its environs is to be done in the long term.

“We believe that development must be a collaborative process. Our meetings with customers and stakeholder groups are, therefore, to discuss planned infrastructure upgrades and to get their feedback,” the release added.

More on improvement plans

While lauding FLOW and its parent company, Liberty Latin America, for a quick response to their concerns, BPIAJ President Gloria Henry is hoping that the October meeting with her sector will provide more details on the improvement plans.

“They listened to our concerns and were open, and it appears as if they are willing to work with us to address the issues, but the dialogue continues,” Henry told The Gleaner yesterday.

However, Duane Williams, chief technology officer of itelbpo smart solutions, is expressing disappointment that three weeks after an initial meeting with FLOW, there has been no improvement.

“Coming out of the meeting we felt good, but it is about three weeks now, and we are beginning to feel as if these were mere promises,” Williams said. “They gave the impression as if they were eager to resolve some of the issues, but they have failed to execute.”

He added: “I don’t know if anyone else has benefited, but we are eager to start reaping the benefits of some of the promised improvements.”