The 33rd Legislature’s Committee on Housing, Transportation, Infrastructure and Telecommunications chaired by Sen. Marvin Blyden met Wednesday, March 21, 2019 at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands to discuss the state of the territory’s telecommunications capabilities, recovery from the storms Irma and Maria, and strategic plans.
Dr. Mark McGibbon, the Chief Executive Officer and President of the Virgin Islands Next Generation Network, Inc. (viNGN) joined a number of other testifiers and shared the current status of the nation’s only fully-interconnected 100 percent fiber-optic network, progress since the 2017 storms, the status of Public Computer Centers and viNGN’s decision to make permanent 15 free public Wi-Fi hot spots to bridge the telecommunications gap.
The VI Consortium highlighted Dr. McGibbon’s response to the frustrations being felt by consumers as they await even faster speeds from their local Internet Services Providers (ISP) commensurate with those enjoyed in other places. As a wholesale provider of bandwidth, viNGN is fully capable of supporting gigabit speeds within its own “middle mile”. viNGN does not do business with consumers, only ISPs. Building out the “last mile” requires sizable investment. Read the full article, $400 MILLION NEEDED FOR 100 PERCENT FIBER-OPTIC INTERNET SERVICE IN USVI, V.I.N.G.N. SAYS.