Rush to the finish.

Kind of a weird day today but then again which of my days isn’t at least a bit weird?  I dashed to the Canadian High Commission to pick up my replacement citizenship card but given a lack of parking I ended up making the block 4 times before begging the Nigerian car park attendants for Trotters to let me park there…which they kindly did. I managed to make it to the counter with a couple of minutes to spare. The woman there is lovely and I just wish the Trinidad civil service could see how it is possible to smile and be efficient when dealing with the public – fat chance of that. After that I thought i could actually go home and relax a bit before heading off to a Flow Cable news conference as I didn’t have any interviews scheduled and I like to keep a finger in reporting  but it was not to be. I got a call from Tony asking if I knew there was a news/election meeting for both TV and radio staff scheduled at that second to which i replied in the negative. Turns out the person who knew about it, and who shall remain nameless ( Vashtee) forgot to tell me. So I threw on some clothes and made my way to the station. After that I ran around a lot doing things and then proceeded to the assignment with Beepath toting the camera. It is always fun being out on assignment and when one ends up in management it is an experience sorely missed. I had a chance to chat with some other media personnel ( I think I got one to come over to us) and we dished about other media personnel who were absent. It was sort of odd to see the expression on their faces, firstly because I was actually on an assignment and secondly because when they asked “how is ieTV” I responded “it is the best place to work in Trinidad media bar none”. They seemed to be waiting for a “but” .

The media conference ( we electronic media people get quite irate when they are called “press conferences”) was actually quite interesting as Flow’s parent company Columbus Communications announced that The submarine cable was in place from Trinidad to Curacao giving us a hardline to  ARCOS (Americas Region Caribbean Ring System) . This translates to us having access to seriously fast internet speed. Those of you living in developed countries may not see this as exciting news  but when you realize that home users here with the telephone provider TSTT must pay $64US to get a “high speed” 256k connection that, as i have mentioned in a previous entry, is frequently down, you may understand why my heart skips a beat or two at the mention of anything over 1 meg. The said TSTT has been advertising their new Blink upcoming service that offers 2meg and 6 meg speeds when they get around to it. Today Flow and their corporate chiefs from the US announced starting Nov. 1st, we will have 2 megs for $30 US and 6 megs for less than $56 US. Better yet, for the equivalent of $104 US we can now have 15 megs. Thank heavens for competition. TSTT is dropping their prices for their cellular service as a result of Digicel entering the market and now they are forced to scramble to keep Flow at bay. Interestingly, TSTT also buys bandwidth from Columbus so I would imagine Flow has a price advantage as they are buying from their parent company. To be sure I am no major fan of Flow as their customer service is pretty bad and i usually have to resort to calling my contacts to get anything done ( I was connected in 24 hours and have never signed anything) but at least i have an option. I think I will be switching over to them in the next few days simply because of the speed and the price. I suppose the fact that my station could not exist without Flow helps a bit too. In any case it is a lot of fun kvetching about both companies.

Off to bed now and hoping my blazing $64 USD 256K connection can upload this file before tomorrow.




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