Local Business

Making connections with Digicel crew

  • Professional approach: Wayne Deshields, left, and Kavin Smith, technicians with Digicel, carrying out a fibre-optic installation at a property (Photograph by Scott Neil)
  • Checking the equipment: Kavin Smith, Digicel technician, checks the fibre cables at a house box on the outside of a property (Photograph supplied)
  • Job under way: Wayne Deshields, left, and Kavin Smith, technicians with Digicel, carrying out a fibre-optic installation at a property (Photograph supplied)

Every time Digicel installs new fibre-optic directly to a home the aim is to do more than bring a high-speed connection to the customer, according to company managers.

Technicians strive to tick a list of boxes that include completing installations in a timely manner, working cleanly, and minimising disruption for the customer. Missing those targets can carry consequences.

Nigel Taylor, fibre marketing manager, said the direct into the home fibre-optic service “is something new and different for the island”.

He added: “We want to make it as easy as possible to get fibre to the home. We have the best technology and the best installs. If an install is not at the level that it should be, word gets out. Word of mouth is a big thing — and it’s good to know it has been very positive to date.”

Indeed, when the job is done well friends and neighbours take note and often sign up to the service.

For Michael Dwyer, area manager, ensuring that customers get the best experience when an installation takes place is part of his job. He goes out on every job to ensure that technicians are on target, and to offer advice.

The Royal Gazette visited a Digicel Fibre home installation assignment and asked Mr Dwyer about the procedure.

He explained that the day before the installation a team visits to check the outside equipment, such as whether the fibre connection will be coming from a utility pole or reaching the property from an underground conduit. The advance team check that everything is in place for an efficient installation to take place. If any issues are identified, such as blocked conduits, the matter can be flagged up and rectified ahead of the installation team’s arrival the following day.

Mr Dwyer said: “The trickiest part of the job can come from discovering a conduit is blocked. In which case a new route is found, but only with the agreement of the customer.”

Last year, a $50 million “fibre to the home” programme saw Digicel and Bermuda Telephone Company construct and install 400 miles of new fibre cable across the island, enabling the companies to now provide 100 per cent fibre-optic cabling directly into customers’ living rooms. Internet speeds up to 200 Mbps are available.

A new internet-only installation typically takes about two hours to complete. Mr Dwyer explained that when the installation team arrives the technicians identify themselves to the customer.

“We then check the access point so we know how the wire is going to run to the property,” he said. The preferred route for the cabling is agreed with the customer.

Working cleanly and efficiently is important for the customer experience, Mr Dwyer said.

“We cover anything. We wear boot covers, which eliminates mess up front. Any mess that is made is cleaned up afterwards, such as dust from drilling holes, or wire clippings.”

A house box is fitted on the outside of the property, this is where the external cable connects to the internal cable, and it allows technicians the opportunity to conveniently carry out diagnostic checks, without disturbing the customer, outside the home. Only if the problem is identified as being on the internal connection would technicians then need to arrange a home visit.

Earlier this year, Digicel revealed its fibre speeds, pricing and bundling offerings. Its fibre TV plans range up to 135 channels, in addition, customers of the TV service are given an additional antenna device allowing them to pick up free-to-air local broadcasts.

To find out more about Digicel Fibre, call 500-5000