Digicel to increase prices on next bill

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Less than a year after Digicel Play increased its cable prices by $5.85 and its Internet prices by $10, another increase will be seen on its customers’ next month bill.

The Observer was informed by a customer who saw a notice in the office of a price increase effective July 1. When the customer questioned the cashier about the reason for the increase, the cashier claimed not to know.

Last year, Digicel Play’s operations manager, Justin John, said that the increase came after major upgrades to its broadband system and the addition of new channels. He noted that the channel sticking problem Nevisians were experiencing would be reduced and has continued to be reduced tremendously. John indicated that at present, the company was operating two individual cable networks in Nevis, analog and digital, which is very costly and all customers would have been switched over to digital by the first quarter of this year.

The Observer contacted John on Thursday upon hearing the news of the new increase and how the information about the increase was disseminated.

“Customers were informed from Digicel Play TV station, text message, office communications and through their weekly radio talk shows and in their bills,” he said, saying the increase on cable will be effective July 1 because “[since] we have some broadband challenges, we decided to stagger that increase in broadband until August, when we get that issue rectified.”

John explained the reasons for the new increase.

“We have made some significant investment,”  he said. “We have done serious upgrades on the TV side of things. On the broadband side, with the amount of users we have, we have had to increase the capacity available to us, which is a significant investment on our side as well. Unfortunately, it kind of reflects [on] the customers, but I can guarantee once those are implemented, which is all a part of why we have the challenge right now, that the service will be even better than what it was in the past two yo three months since we have been getting to capacity on our broadband.”

The increase, he said, on the cable will be EC$3, while the increase on the internet in August will be $7. “If you have your services bundled, the increases will not affect you,” he said, explain they will be in a better position to expand afterward.