The Virgin Islands will join other Caribbean countries to rally international experts to be removed from Latin Caribbean classification, which has resulted in Latin programming being broadcasted by cable providers.
In the case of the BVI, for some two years, BVI Cable TV has been providing a mixture of English and Spanish content. The issue is that the BVI is viewed as being part of the Latin American market.
However, Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) said the BVI is not alone when it comes to the issue of Latin content being provided by cable operators in English-speaking countries of the Caribbean.
The CTU and the International Telecommunications Union will sit down for talks at the World Conference on International Telecommunications slated for Port of Spain, Trinidad.
"We intend to attend that meeting and to have a voice in that meeting with the help of the CTU in order that we can let the ITU know that the BVI is an English speaking country and the content that we are providing is not suitable for the BVI," said Guy Malone, CEO of the BVI Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.
Earlier this year, Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool met with the Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States, Mr. Robert McDowell for an intervention in the challenges faced by residents in regards to the delivery of cable television service.
"We are looking for every opportunity that we can to get attention in terms of addressing this matter," Minister Vanterpool told reporters on Friday, September 28.
He added, "I believe that we can work as the United States Virgin Islands did with the U.S. Congress because they had the same problem to get the attention of the content providers. Despite the fact that we are only 9000 users the attention to us isn´t that great because we are a little blimp on their screen, but they (CTU) can help us to be recognized," Minister Vanterpool stated.
The concerns with Cable TV programmes started after new owners, Caribbean Asset Holdings, LLC Innovative Companies took control of the company in March 2011. Some of the concerns expressed about the new networks include the expanded range of Latin content. However, members of the Latin Community here in the BVI are also peeved about the new Latin stations.
Seth R. Davis, CEO and President of Caribbean Asset Holdings, LLC Innovative Companies had explained that even Spanish advertisements in between English-titled programmes is not coincidental.
"These channels are the Latin American feeds especially created for this area of the Caribbean. Rights for these channels in this geography are geared to a Latin American market, thus advertisers are targeting those Latin American customers," Davis had noted.
He had explained that there is a problem of available rights to certain networks because the BVI is viewed as being part of the Latin American market.