In The Caribbean, Net Surfers Pay Through The Nose

"Net surfers get a (price) break" (European Business, Sept. 20) sympathized with the Belgians for having to pay 2 cents a minute after midnight for Internet access, following a recent 50% reduction. My heart bleeds for them.

Here in the Caribbean, our local telephone monopoly, the British giant Cable & Wireless Communications PLC, charges 15 cents a minute after midnight. And before. (Cable & Ruthless, we call them.) As a consequence, the only people surfing the Net for any length of time are unsupervised office workers, able to bury the expense in their bills to clients.

Several of the Caribbean islands are testing the resolve of Cable & Wireless in the courts, but it is a long and hard battle.

Gordon Barlow

George Town

Cayman Islands

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