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Saba’s Island Council discusses service, plans of Satel NV

The Bottom, Saba – The Island Council members who were present at Tuesday’s meeting, Vito Charles, Carl Buncamper and Eviton Heyliger, stressed on the importance of the accessibility of internet. “Every household should be able to get good internet at an affordable price,” said Charles. Van Oosteren said that with the new cellular network, this would be accomplished with a higher speed and lower costs for the consumer.

In 2024/2025, Satel plans to deploy fiber optic cable around the island. This will require a major investment and will take several years, also because all cables, up to the homes, have to be placed underground. For now, Satel focuses on the cellular network which was considered as the best option, because it is faster and cheaper to put in place.

In 2021, a smaller investment was done as an interim solution to upgrade the network. Van Oosteren explained that this investment has increased the network speed. When the interim solution was put in place there were some problems which took some time to resolve. However, the majority of the issues have been resolved and the network is more stable with some minor problems left to resolve.

Responding to several questions of the Island Council about customer service, including the system to file complaints, Van Oosteren said he agreed that communication with customers needed to get better. “We are working on that. We have increased contact with our customers, but there is definitely room for improvement,” he said.

The Island Council asked for more communication and transparency with Satel’s shareholder, the Public Entity Saba. Buncamper and Charles said that Satel should more involve the shareholder to achieve a certain standard and to assist in arranging financial assistance to accomplish such. Heyliger said the Island Council for years has been asking for more transparency and communication between Satel and its shareholder. It was agreed at the end of the meeting that there will be more periodical meetings of the Island Council with Satel. 

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