An Open Letter to the People of Aruba

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An Open Letter to the People of Aruba

Similar to the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals for all nations, Digicel takes early action to leave no one behind.

As a total communications and entertainment provider operating across the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific, Digicel’s aim is to connect people to great experiences – and, when it comes to our communities - to ensure that the people in a country benefit from our presence there. Digicel’s vision is to help create a world where no one gets left behind.

A world where no one gets left behind – sounds good, doesn’t it? Imagine what that would look like for Aruba. Imagine an Aruba with a diverse and vibrant economy where multiple industries thrive, and skilled jobs where jobs are plentiful and varied; imagine an Aruba which functions as the Caribbean’s Silicon Valley; imagine an Aruba which serves as the business gateway to the USA, Latin America and Europe. It’s what Aruba’s Prime Minister’s own vision for the Creation of Sustainable Prosperity is working towards and it sounds exciting, right?  Of course.

However, today, much of this sadly isn’t possible with the current status quo.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about connectivity. Pure and simple. And in the case of Aruba, the lack of choice in that regard.

It’s a proven fact that when it comes to unlocking economic growth, connectivity is of paramount importance. Myriad studies cite a direct correlation between broadband penetration and GDP growth, and foreign direct investors cite connectivity in their top five must haves when looking at a location to invest in.

In today’s Aruba, we are reliant on a single provider for our fixed communications infrastructure, and that provider is Setar. It’s an accepted fact that when a company has competition in a market, it’s compelled to raise its game. More importantly, in today’s connected world, the reliance on a single provider (and the lack of resilience and so-called “redundancy” or in layman’s terms, back-up) leaves us as a country exposed to risk.

Digicel has already shown how competition can benefit customers with what we have done in the mobile space. We’re now asking for a similar chance in the fixed line market.

On that note, Digicel stands ready to make an investment of US$50 million in building out fibre across Aruba. This investment would result in the creation of some 60 jobs directly – and many more indirectly [insert number]. The benefits of this commitment would be multi-faceted – put concisely, everyone stands to benefit. It’s a win win.

How?

  1. The Government of Aruba can further position the country as an attractive foreign direct investment destination for ICT and Business Process Outsourcing activities, while benefiting from better employment rates, increased taxes and duties paid to Government reserves;
  2. Businesses can benefit from the redundancy and resilience that is an absolute imperative in today’s connected world; 
  3. Consumers can benefit from the increased speeds, access and pricing that competition affords.

In short, in achieving Digicel’s “Imagine Aruba” goal - we need to build our knowledge economy. And to do that, we need connectivity. We are respectfully asking for the opportunity to build out our fixed networks. More importantly, we ask for the opportunity to help Aruba achieve its Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind, while allowing Digicel to realise its vision for this island-nation also.

Our vision is for an Aruba where no one gets left behind. Let’s work together to Imagine Aruba.

Respectfully,

 

Bob Sprengers

Chief Executive Officer, Digicel Aruba

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An Open Letter to the People of Aruba