Local media company plans to create TV choice

| 10/08/2011

(CNS): As soon as next year television viewers in Cayman may be able to access several hundred television channels from around the world, via the island’s very own fibre optic cable network, brought to the island by Infinity Broadband.  Local businessman and owner of Infinity Broadband and Hurley’s Entertainment, Randy Merren, says that although there are still regulatory hurdles to be overcome, he is confident that they will begin the build out for the cables for his new television network next year, with customers receiving the new cable TV service soon after. He estimates the entire build-out operation will take around two years to complete.

“75 per cent of all properties will be able to access the initial range of services within 18 months from the start of the build-out, and 95 per cent within 24 months,” he confirms.
Not only will customers get the choice of hundreds of channels, they will also be able to view 3D-TV, enjoy pause and rewind live programming and time shifting which will allow viewers to replay a TV programme that was broadcast hours or days after it originally aired.Customers will also have the ability to watch one programme while recording two others and they will be able to watch TV on laptops, iPads and other tablet devices while at home.

Infinity Broadband has just signed a memorandum of understanding with an as yet unnamed overseas strategic partner, giving the company the go ahead to take the next steps in rolling out the new service, which also includes high speed internet and telephone service via IP (internet protocol).

“All our licences with the regulatory body are in place,” Merren confirms, “and we have come to agreement with CUC after lengthy negotiations to use their poles to distribute the cables. This is a much cheaper solution than laying cables underground.”

He adds that he is currently considering two locations in George Town, one on Walkers Road and one in the Industrial Park, where the core of the system will be housed.
Merren says he believes the service will be good for the island as Cayman is one of the last places in the Caribbean that does not have its own cable television network.

“When deregulation first happened in Cayman I waited for someone to request a cable television licence from the ICTA,” Merren says. “Nobody did, so I decided to make my application. It’s a thriving business. The service we are offering in Cayman will be unique because of the interaction between the viewer and the system, allowing them to communicate back.”  

Merren says Infinity Broadband has contacted several content aggregators, i.e. companies who sell packages of television stations to networks, to ensure that they will be able to offer a wide range of television channels to customers.

“We will be bringing our customers channels that they can already get via WestStar as well as new stations from the US, the UK and elsewhere, including Spanish-speaking channels. We can bring television stations to our viewers from anywhere in the world, as long as they are on the satellite to which we are connected,” he confirms. “Capacity is not a problem.”

In addition, all customer set-top boxes will have the capability to deliverHD-TV, Pay Per View and Video on Demand.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am happy for the competition west star will have, and over pricing from this monoploy will be reduced to remain market leader.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What about Cayman Brac? All we have is 27 channels if they are working.

    Please don't forget about us.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh joy, this is exactly what Cayman needs in order to propell itself in to todays "up to date" technologies… more TV channels…

    How about Fiber optic internet… Something that can actually benefit companies and the public alike.

    The internet is the future. Not television…

    I am from Cayman, but currently living in the UK studying. My flat here is hooked up with 50Mb broadband. I can download a HD film in under 3 mins. And all I pay is £35 a month.

    I hate how overpriced Caymans internet service providers are, and the tech is so far behind as well. 

    Start rolling out faster internet and slash the prices! /angry face


  4. IHaveNoMoney says:

    This won't affect me as I too am very poor and can't afford a television set.

    There's no work for me. I have applied all over the island and I can not get a job.

    Maybe I can get a job working for this television company. Are they hiring? If so, maybe I can benefit from a staff discount on televisions, allowing me to purchase one which I currently can not do as I am dirt poor.

    I also can't afford a car and my feet hurt from walking eveyrwhere.

    I only have enough money for food for me and my goat, and my beloved computer.




  5. Anonymous says:

    This can't happen soon enough for me!  But I hope the rates (unlike WestTel) are reasonable, i.e. cheap, and I hope that finally having some competition will force WetTel to be more competitive with their own pricing and packages.  We're currently being ripped off in a big way due to WestTel having a monopoly on this.  Same comments apply for many other providers on-island such as CUC and the couple of phone providers we have – bring on the competition, open up the market, encourage diversity, value for money and competitive packages for the people!

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no monopoly.  If you want to have a cable tv station all you have todo is find the money and apply for one.  A monopoly means no one else is allowed to start one. P.S.  Weststar is the cable company. There is no Westtel, its Logic and a completely separate company that provides internet and phone service. They broke up.

  6. Parcay says:

    This is excellent news as we need other options besides WestStar and dishes, and WestStar certainly needs the direct competition to up their game. I am confident that both the customer service and the programming offerd by Inifinity will be much better than those from WestStar. Congratulations, Randy Merren.

  7. B.B.L. Brown says:

    It won't matter to me.  I'm so poor I don't have a television set. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is about time.  For the amount that WestStar charges for even the most basic packages, it is too high.   Their channels are frequently down, garbled, and one cannot get through to customer service at certain times and you have to wait at their convenience for a service call and run leave your workplace in the middle of a workday to meet them at their stipulated times – they badly need some competition and someone to show them what service is all about.

  9. Dare to Dream says:

    This is great news but please have some local programs- not just the 2 minutes of news and please see if you can offer it a little cheaper than what we are paying WestStar.  Competition is the name of the game. 

  10. Ron J. says:

    If they are offering porn, I’m in.

  11. Anonkymous says:

    Competition is GOOD! I stayed with C&W after competition arrived as I knew that they would finally see the value of the customer. Sometimes I regret it but for the most part it has been a good relationship!

    This time around I will certainly be switching over to the new network as WestStar has been ridiculous at best. The service is awful, the cost is outrageous and there is never a credit for the hours missed, lost channels or reception problems (which are ALWAYS during the best part of the show!)

    It is about time someone introduced competition. It can only make each company offer better service and prices – too sad that it takes this for a company to realize that their best asset is their customer.


  12. Anonymous says:

    some competition against Weststar is long overdue – can't believe I got a letter of them in June telling me they were increasing their prices to CI$124 for the intermittent "service" they were offering. Hopefully this will bring some more jobs to the island as well.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Please do this as soon as possible. We're sick and tired of boring westar TV and bad customer service they offer. i can gurantee business success Randy.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean the Hurleys Group will have enough cash to rebuild the eyesore that was Eden's Centre…?!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Fiber right to my house – awesome! I had this service in Singapore: all the channels, true digi hd picture, all the recording functions, TV from all over the world, perfect picture and non of the sound lags, freezes and weather interuptions that you have to suffer here. Through in 15 megs of data too!! Welcome to the real world – where do I sign up Hurleys?

    • Anonymous says:

      Word! I have 50Mb Fiber Optic where i am at the mo! and its only £35 a month!


  16. Anonymous says:

    Live TV is a thing of the past other than news and live sports.  When was the last time anyone watcheda movie with ads in it or waited a week to watch the next episode of a TV program? Video on demand is the way forward.  Merren should just provide a decent broadband service and some local equivalent of Netflix.

  17. Silence of the lambs says:

    Yesss please bring it on, the crap WestStar offers is not worth the money.

    • Anonymous says:

      Randy, excellent, bring it on. One thing – please press "fast forward".

  18. Durrrr says:

    Woohoo! WestStar RIP!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Staying tuned to learn more…..

  20. Anonymous says:

    ABOUT TIME!!!!