Answers from Flow (August 2007)

Introduction

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society met with Ian Serrao, Director of Network Services at Columbus Communications Trinidad

(Columbus is the parent company of Flow) at a TTCS Meeting on: Wednesday 22nd August 2007

These are some of the questions supplied by members (the title of this article was first  “Questions for Flow”) and the answers provided by Flow (hence the change in title).

Internet service/cable modems

Questions and answers for this section have been consolidated in the FAQ section on this page: Cable_modems_in_Trinidad

 

Television service

– Re: The dispute between Flow and HBO Latin America group:

Talks are ongoing but there is optimism that the result will be an agreement beneficial to both sides. A possible compromise is that Flow will have to switch from the U.S. version of HBO that it currently carries to the “HBO Caribbean” feed that was recently announced by the HBO Latin America group.

Reference: “New HBO Channel for the Caribbean” from the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper: http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070706/ent/ent8.html
(Full text from this article is included at the bottom of this wiki page)

– Why does the volume vary from channel to channel on the digital system? Shouldn’t they all be at the same level?
The variation is due to the quality of the input received from the source. For the moment, manual adjustments are used but in the near future there will be a higher level of automation.

– What is the maximum number of television channels that can be carried by the digital system?
No exact number given but we were assured that Flow is more than capable of providing a 500 channel plus service.

– When will Flow start to offer pay-per-view services?
In the fourth quarter of 2007 but only in areas with Digital service.

–  Will Flow be increasing the number of basic cable channels in the future?
Depends on content providers willing to sign agreements to allow rebroadcast of their content in this market.

– Will Flow be doing offering HD service in the future?
Yes but there is an issue of sourcing affordable cable boxes as well as the potential market. i.e. will locals be willing to spend extra money to by a new (and expensive) HD ready/capable/compatible TV to take full advantage of the service?

– How will this impact the demand for data bandwidth?

Flow says its network has been designed to avoid this problem.

 Will PVRs/DVRs be offered?

Yes.

– Will Flow make it difficult for customers to use their own DVR?

No.

– Can customers get their own cable box, one that may be more DVR friendly, and get it “activated” at Flow?

No, customers cannot purchase their own cable box, cable box/DVR combo and have it activated by Flow.  Customers can use their own stand alone DVR but Flow would not provide any sort of technical support for it.

 

 

Land line service

 

– Will I be able to make international calls with this land line service?
– Would I be able to send and receive faxes on this phone service?
– Will business/corporate customers have to pay different rates for the service?
– Will features such as voice mail, caller ID, call waiting, 3-way calling, etc be available?

Yes

 

– When will telephone (voice) service be available?

In the fourth quarter of 2007 but only in areas with Digital service.

 

– Do I have to buy a new type of telephone to use with the Flow land line telephone service?

No. Existing telephones will work with the system. Simply plug them into the device provided by Flow.

 

– How will customers be billed for phone service? e.g. per minute, per call, a flat fee per month?

Will be announced when the service is launched.

 

– What are the rates for phone service?

Will be announced when the service is launched.

 

– Will the service work during electrical blackouts?

Yes. The system has an 8 hour battery backup.

 

– Will I be able to call Digicel and Bmobile cell phones?

Flow telphone customers will be able to call BMobile cell phone because Flow has an interconnect agreement with TSTT. They are currently working on an interconnect agreement with Digicel.

 

– Does Flow have interconnect agreements with other telecom providers?

Flow has an interconnect agreement with TSTT. They are currently working on an interconnect agreement with Digicel.

 

General questions

 

– When will Flow upgrade my area for Internet service?

Contact Flow for that information.

 

– Which areas of the country have digital service at this time?

This page: http://www.flowtrinidad.com/click/content.cfm?contentID=DEA1C8E8-A398-426F-E381B748411A5C65

has a list of digitial ready areas (scroll down the page).

 

– Can/will I get some sort of package deal/cheaper rates for subscribing to 2 or more of Flow’s services?

Contact Flow for that information.

 

– What is Flow’s policy for redress/compensation/rebate when tv/internet/phone customers suffer outages?

Contact Flow for that information.

 

– Will Flow ever offer services in Tobago?

Flow’s telecom concession permts them to operate in Tobago but there are no immediate plans to do so.

 

– Are there any plans to offer a system for customers to pay their Flow bills online?

Such a system is in the testing phase at the moment.

 

Full text of Jamaica Gleaner article: “HBO Caribbean”:

 

New HBO channel for Caribbean

published: Friday | July 6, 2007

 

MIAMI, Florida:

 

HBO Latin America GroupSM announced yesterday the official launch of its new HBO channel tailored-made to satisfy the needs of Caribbean audiences after two weeks of successful trials.

 

The new totally digital and 100 per cent English-language channel will air international blockbusters and the most acclaimed United States and global series, and major boxing matches as well.

 

The new HBO Caribbean feed is available for all the non-United States territory Caribbean islands, such as Curacao, Barbados, Bonaire, St. Lucia, Aruba, St. Martin, and Trinidad and Tobago, among others.

 

“HBO exists because and for its audience. That’s why we decided to create an entertainment product that would completely satisfy the Caribbean audience’s needs, by offering a more attractive and diversified product that is tailored made to their interests and needs,” said Gustavo Grossman, vice-president and general manager, HBO Networks said in a release issued yesterday.

 

The HBO Caribbean channel will air the most exclusive content from Hollywood blockbusters to key independent and renowned international movies, and also the best series, late night shows, and long expected boxing matches exclusively broadcasted by HBO. That will be possible thanks to the exclusive rights that HBO Latin America GroupSM has with the major Studios in the U.S., Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Buena Vista International and Home Box Office.

 

Continues to add

 

“We will continue to add more and better content to this new service. To do so, we keep permanent contact with the most renowned world producers, while analysing the chance to broadcast series from our original library, such as Mandrake or Hijos del Carnaval, dubbed or with captions,” said Grossman.

 

This programming may be viewed on HBO in July.

 

Three major boxing matches may be viewed every Saturday since July 14: HBO World Championship Boxing: Antonio Margarito vs. Paul Williams (9:00 p.m.), HBO PPV World Championship Boxing: Bernard Hopkins vs. ‘Winky’ Wright (9:00 p.m.), and the HBO World Boxing: Carlos ‘Tata’ Baldomir vs. Vernon Forrest (10:15 p.m.).

 

The blockbusters: The Da Vinci Code, House of Sand and Fog, Take the Lead, Syriana, The Woodsman, The Producers (musical), Final Destination 3, among others.

 

Exclusive premiere in the Caribbean of the new BBC series Life on Mars, created by Chris Chinball, directed by John Alexander and John McKay (Crush), that is about a police officer who has an accident and wakes up in 1973, and he discovers that the same crime is closely connected to these two totally different periods of time.

 

The Sopranos, the most acclaimed series in TV history, created by David Chase, arrives at its great ending through nine new impressive episodes every Sunday at 9:00 p.m.

 

HBO Latin America GroupSM is a group of affiliated companies of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P., Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., The Walt Disney Company and Ole Communications Group. The HBO Latin America GroupSM of companies own, operate and distribute the leading cable and satellite programming services in Latin America, Brazil and the Caribbean, including HBO, HBO Plus, HBO Family, Cinemax, Max PrimeSM, Warner ChannelSM, Sony Entertainment Television, A&E, The History Channel, E! Entertainment Television, AXN, The Biography Channel and Animax.

 

 

Disclaimer

 

The creator(s) of this page and the TTCS are not affiliated with:

  • Flow (or its agents/representatives).
  • Columbus Communications Trinidad Limited (or its agents/representatives).
  • Any other telecom provider (or its agents/representatives).
  • The Telecom Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT)(or its agents/representatives).

 

This page has not been endorsed in any way by any of these entities.

Information on this page is subject to change without further notice.

If you use any information from this page, you do so at your own discretion and risk and you are soley responsible for any and all: financial loss, damage to your equipment or loss of data that may result directly or indirectly from such use.

In other words, if you screw-up, or your equipment or data gets screwed up, it is 100% YOUR fault! Don’t blame anyone else.

 


 

Updated:

14aug2007: created page

15aug2007: added 41 questions

23aug2007: converted page from “Questions for Flow” to “Answers from Flow”