June 2, 2005 True to the company's early promises, broadband Internet service provider, Communications Technology, has announced it will begin rolling out service on St. Croix by the end of July.
The company, better known locally as Comtek, launched service on St. Thomas in October 2004 and at that time indicated plans to offer high-speed Internet access throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands. (See "Comtek Offers High-Speed Wireless Internet").
The announcement, made Tuesday, comes on the heels of the company's successful May foray into Crucian communications when Comtek served as the official broadband provider for the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police Annual Conference. (See "Students Get Hands-On with State of the Art Technology").
After observing demonstrations of a number of crime-fighting wireless applications, Police Commissioner Elton Lewis was impressed, saying, "The quality of Comteks advanced tele-communication and broadband services has proven reliable, far exceeding all of our expectations."
Comtek, based in Chantilly, Va., has operations across the United States, including the nation's only commercially deployed broadband-over-power-lines network in Manassas, Va. On St. Croix, the company has said it will begin service in the Christiansted area and expand to cover the rest of the island in phases.
Ailise Aaron, a company spokeswoman, said Tuesday that on St. Thomas the company now provides high-speed service to Charlotte Amalie, Havensight, Frenchtown, Solberg, Estate Thomas, Sugar Estate, Crown Bay, Sub Base, Lindbergh Bay, Cyril E. King Airport, Magens Bay, Peterborg, Water Island, Frechman's Bay, Mafolie, Contant and Dorothea. Aaron pointed out, however, that individual properties within these areas still need to be inspected by a Comtek engineer to assure the service can be delivered.
The company's founder and CEO, Joe Fergus, was on St. Croix during the police conference. Having been raised in St. Croix's Grove neighborhood, Fergus seems to have an interest in the development of high-tech communications services within the territory that goes beyond the figures in the company's business plan. There is simply no excuse for offering sub-par broadband in this day and age. The people of the U.S. Virgin Islands deserve the best available technology and we are on a mission to make sure that they get it at an affordable price," Fergus said in a release.
Fergus made similar comments during a recent visit to his alma mater, St. Croix Central High School, where he talked to students about entrepreneurship. Having built from scratch a company that now employs 900 people worldwide a company that also made it onto Inc. Magazine's prestigious list of the countries fastest growing companies of 2005 – Fergus was speaking from experience when he told the students, according to an earlier Source story, that they can grow up in the Virgin Islands and go on to do great things. (See "Students Get Straight Talk on Entrepreneurship, Technology and Integrity").
Comtek officials said the wireless network the company is building will support a number of cutting-edge applications, including voice over IP telephone service, wireless remote video surveillance, telemedicine and video-conferencing.
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