June 14, 2002 A new name, Choice Communications of the Virgin Islands, brings V.I. Access, Wireless World, Antilles Wireless, and Antilles Digital Television under one umbrella. The companies are wholly owned by Atlantic Tele-Network, with Cornelius B. Prior Jr. and a board of directors at the helm.
"We're creating a new brand identity," Jim Alexander, Choice's director of sales and marketing, said Friday.
The company's products are the result of previous purchases, splits and mergers, including the purchase of the two Internet service providers V.I. Access and Cobex, the first company to provide Internet access in the Virgin Islands.
Alexander said V.I. Access will keep the same name on its website www.viaccess.net. Choice will also continue to offer web hosting and pager services along with additional services.
The biggest change will come in Antilles Digital Television, a new wireless television service that replaces Antilles Wireless. It will offer 112 television channels and 40 music channels, a big step up from Antilles Wireless's 28 channels.
Alexander said the digital signal is received via an antenna that picks up radio waves.
"Digital TV is far clearer than analog TV," Alexander said.
Alexander said Choice plans to start promoting the new service on June 24, with installation available in early July in an area that covers much of St. Croix.
It ranges from Carlton in the west to the Buccaneer Hotel and Ha`penny in the east. ChoiceTV will also reach parts of Little Princess, Mon Bijou, Sion Farm, Strawberry Estate, Estate Cottage, all of Hovensa, and parts of Diamond.
"Anyone who can see the towers on Blue Mountain can now have the best television clarity they have ever seen," said Larry Searles, Choice's sales manager in St. Croix.
In St. Croix, customers can see for themselves at the Choice Communications office in Peters Rest and at Johnny Mango Restaurant near Sunny Isle Shopping Center.
"There's a big difference in the picture. It looks much, much better," said Johnny Mango owner Mike Bonet.
Alexander said many customers of the St. Thomas-based Antilles Wireless already receive Antilles Digital Service, with installation to be available soon to the rest of St. Thomas and St. John residents.
The advent of Antilles Digital Service will give customers a choice in picking a television provider. Until now, Innovative Cable TV was the only game on both islands. Innovative is in the midst of switching to digital.